Bexar County Sheriff's Office adds new member to force: Meet Mini-Caliber robot

Robot will be used on case-by-case basis

SAN ANTONIO – The Mini-Caliber robot is the newest member of the Bexar County Sheriff's Office.

The robot is remotely operated and able to handle many dangerous situations.

"It would be a huge benefit. The reason why is because we don't know the layout of the house, so having the robot to go in there and see what the robot sees and see where the suspect is going to be at is a huge advantage to us," said Joaquin Galvan, SWAT operator for the Sheriff's Office.

Galvan knows firsthand how valuable this new technology can be.

"Back in March of this year, we had a SWAT standoff in Northwest Bexar County, where it was a barricaded subject who had his mother hostage," Galvan said.

Galvan was leading the charge and carrying a shield when officers started taking fire. He was injured when shrapnel from the shield hit him in the face, but he knows it could of been much worse.

"We're getting shot at from the left side. My shield was facing forward, so it was luck (that we weren't injured) and there was an angel watching over us," Galvan said.

The Mini-Caliber will be used on a case-by-case basis and will also allow hostage negotiators to communicate with a potential suspect.

Sheriff Javier Salazar said the best part is that the new addition comes at no cost to taxpayers and was paid for with asset forfeiture money.

"It was about $78,000, give or take, but that was with some of the attachments that came with it," Salazar said.