In the next few months, the NYPD will begin field testing Microsoft tablets outfitted with an app for the the Domain Awareness System. Credit: DCPI
Armed with tablets, New York's finest are going mobile.
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said Tuesday that the department will equip officers with hand-held tablets as part of an upcoming pilot program, connecting cops with a stream of law enforcement data.
"This is the future of the New York City Police Department," Bratton said while addressing a New York City Police Foundation meeting at the Waldorf-Astoria.
The Microsoft tablets will be outfitted with a new app for the department's Domain Awareness System.
Through the system, which has been used for a few years on desktop computers, officers can access data on 911 calls, arrests, criminal complaints and warrants, as well as law enforcement cameras, license plate readers and radiation and chemical sensors.
The app includes a map interface and an alert panel officers can scroll through, said Jessica Tisch, the NYPD's deputy commissioner of information technology.
"An officer, if he's assigned to, let's say, the 1st Precinct in a particular sector, he will see on his alert panel all 911 jobs that he or she is supposed to respond to," Tisch said.
The app's information will help responding officers do their jobs, Bratton added.
"This is a significant officer safety issue -- warrants at that address, people who have recently been arrested, is there a gun registered to that address -- real time crime information," he said.
After a pilot program beginning in the next few months, the tablets will be evaluated for a larger rollout within the department.
"The pilot program is intended to identify what does the cop out on the street, the cop on the beat…what does he actually need to see?" Bratton said.
Where and how the tablets will be used -- if cops will holster them, for instance -- has yet to be determined. But Tisch said the data app could potentially be used on other tablets and even on cellphones.