The police officers in New York are about to get a serious upgrade, thanks to a $160 million technology initiative aimed at keeping officers better connected in the field. All 35,000 officers in the NYPD will be issued Windows smartphones to use while on the job. The initiative also allots for 6,000 tablets to be installed in police vehicles, all using a Windows operating system.
The smartphones and tablets are not set up purely as a way to jazz up the police force. They are designed to help officers be more efficient in the field by offering on-site access to police databases and real-time updates from 911 dispatchers.
“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 in a statement.
The NYPD has not announced which devices they will be using, but they displayed a tablet from Panasonic’s Toughbook line and a Nokia Lumia smartphone at a press briefing.
The department has yet to announce a date for the technology rollout, but it is expected to be some time within the next year.
The police department indicated fingerprint scanning will be put to use in the field next year. Fingerprint scanning will allow officers to check someone’s identity on the spot, rather than taking the person back to the station for analysis.
Overall, the new phones and tablets should set a precedent for other cities to follow.