The latest weapon in the NYPD’s arsenal isn’t a new gun, but instead an Android phone that can pull up an astounding amount of data.
The New York Police Department has issues around 400 Android phones to officers that will allow them to see every conceivable record at a glance without once having to talk to a dispatcher. This is truly policing for the 21st century.
According to The New York Times, the pilot program began last summer and is seeing great success. As opposed to the laptops installed in approximately 2,500 squad cars around the city that can be slow and require officers to log into multiple databases, the custom Android app allows them to see every database at once. The officers can now enter the address of a building and see the records for every person in the building that has ever had involvement with the law in some way. “If I see that in the last month, there have been six arrests on the seventh floor for drug trafficking, maybe I want to hang out on the seventh floor for a while,” Officer Tom Donaldson told the paper.
It isn’t just buildings that the phone can look up either. The officers can now do people searches, access CCTV cameras in the area surrounding them, access Department of Motor Vehicle records and a whole lot more. Apparently the information is so detailed that it can even let an officer know if a suspect likes to keep his drug stash “in his left sock” according to Donaldson.
No word as of yet if the NYPD plans to expand the usage of the devices – which are phones in name only as they are disabled from making or receiving calls – but it certainly sounds like a powerful new tool for law enforcement.