Tactical machine to benefit law enforcement statewide

BISMARCK, N.D. - Law enforcement has a new tool for use in serious situations.

A tactical intervention machine called The Rook can be used for situations like bomb threats, shootings, and barricaded subjects.

The Rook costs more than $300,000, money that came from a grant through homeland security.

The Bismarck Police Department says other state agencies agreed Bismarck would be the best area to have the first Rook in the state because it's centrally located and they can respond quickly.

The Rook's is now wheels down in Bismarck.

"This is going to help us resolve incidents quicker and that means a safer community," said BPD Deputy Chief Jason Stugelmeyer.

Stugelmeyer says the armored vehicle has multiple purposes like taking officers up on buildings. Or clearing rooms and buildings from potential armed suspects through cameras.

"If somewhere along the line a suspect decides to shoot our armored platform and it safe's an officers life throughout the course of the Rook's life then it pays for itself. I mean, you can't put a price on that," said Bismarck Lt. Glen Ternas.

The Rook can be controlled by someone from inside, or from the outside with a controller.

"It's one of those things where we hope we don't have to use it but we know that we will have to use it in the future," said Stugelmeyer.

Both officers agree, The Rook will help minimize the amount of time situations like a barricaded subject usually take.

Training on the Rook has been happening since December.

Wednesday the police department will head to Grand Forks to show agencies there what it's functions are.

Stugelmeyer says they haven't had to use the Rook yet.