NYPD Goes Digital With Windows Phones For All Officers
Admit it, deep down inside, you have always found the “Freeze! NYPD!” scenes in movies to be SO cool.
And guess what, the New York Police Department is taking their coolness to a whole new level by going digital.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday that the NYPD is going to implement their $160 million technology program, dubbed NYPD Mobility Initiative – which focuses on providing every officer (that is more than 35,000 officers) with a smartphone. Moreover, the program will be installing tablets into police cars.
These smartphones and tablets will be connected to a cellular network, which will facilitate the officers in “expanded search capabilities,” meaning they will be able to search NYPD databases on the go. Another major feature included is the availability of real time 911 data, along with notes – the thought of which could send the criminals running for cover right now.
Another functionality to be added next year was mentioned at the press release, which states integrating fingerprint scanners with the mobile devices, for the following, pretty awesome reason:
It is expected that further functionality will be added to the mobile platform next year, including the integration of fingerprint scanning to support in-field identity checks.
So what will be the specifics for these devices by NYPD? From a photo of de Blasio at the press conference holding a tablet, we can deduce they are using Panasonic Toughbooks, which run on Windows. The police department then presented various mobile devices, which revealed many Windows devices, including a Lumia.
Though Windows Phones currently do not support any fingerprint scanning, there has been news of the feature being introduced soon, which also gets support from NYPD’s statement of adding the feature “next year.”
This is not the first attempt by New York Police Department to digitize their arena. Last year, New York Times covered news that Android smartphones had been given to around 400 officers, with services provided by AT&T. According to the article, the phones had special NYPD apps which could search for a person based on name, to find out if he had a criminal record against him or any weapon possession. It could even run searches based on the officer’s location.
However, the program failed because the police officers were unable to make calls – the basic most function of a mobile phone. If Android failed at performing, we can only wait and watch how Windows counters this flaw by the rival tech giant.
Source: City of New York