Thursday, January 24, 2013
NYPD testing new scanner that detects hidden guns
The NYPD is eyeing a “hands off” approach to stop-and-frisk.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said in his annual State of the NYPD Address yesterday that the department is testing a high-tech device that can detect concealed weapons on pistol-packing perps.
“The technology is going to get there,” Kelly promised. “We’re still in the analyzing stage.”
The scanner can detect the lack of natural radiation emitted from a person carrying a firearm. The machine displays a shadowy image of the gun against the body being scanned.
The multimillion-dollar project — completely underwritten by the US Department of Defense — is currently in the “testing phase” at the NYPD’s training facility at Rodman’s Neck in The Bronx.
Kelly showed a photo of an officer, dressed in a Jets jersey and jeans, carrying a concealed gun after he’s been scanned. The photo, taken from roughly 11 yards away, shows a black object in the shape of a gun on the man’s hip.
“These images are from a recent test we conducted with an officer carrying a hidden handgun. You get a sense of why we’re so hopeful about this tool,” he said.
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne insisted the new technology was not developed in response to the backlash against stop-and-frisk.
“This technology can’t be everywhere at all times. Officers will always have a need, when their safety’s on the line, to pat a person down,” Browne said.
He added, “This brings us closer to making a determination that someone actually has a gun without having to lay a hand on them.”
There’s no projected roll-out date, but when the machines are ready, the department anticipates having multiple units deployed in areas of high gun violence.
“We still have a number of trials to run before we can determine how best to deploy this technology,” Kelly said.
“But we’re very pleased with the progress we’ve made over the past year.”