The New York Police Department announced plans for a serious tech upgrade on Thursday, which should rollout over the next three years and cost about $160 million. NYPD officers will receive 35,000 smartphones—enough for every officer in the city—along with 6,000 rugged tablets to be installed in patrol cars. Both come with pre-installed crime fighting software.
The NYPD has been developing its own specialized software for a while now, but in many cases the police are held back by the physical hardware they’re forced to use. For example, a mobile version of the Domain Awareness System designed to combat terrorism could be expanded to fight regular crime and help with public service work thanks to the new devices.
“We must have 21st Century tools to deal with 21st Century threats, and this infusion of new resources will arm our officers with the technology and information they need to fight crime and protect the City against terrorism more efficiently and more effectively,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The new phones and tablets will offer a ton of other new features to help with police work. For example, officers will receive data from 911 calls even quicker than before for an instant response. Officers will also be able to file reports from their devices instead of returning to the station, and will be able to access the digitized Real Time Crime Center from their handsets. Other information like wanted posters and missing person photos will show up as quick alerts on the new devices as well.
Oh, and one more thing. Every police officer is now set to receive an official email address. So, clearly, the NYPD is still lagging when it comes to technology—at least in some areas—but today’s announcement should cover the next few years of advancements.