Cops sitting in a technologically advanced command center may be watching you, particularly if you just committed a crime.
Under a new data system unveiled yesterday by the NYPD and Microsoft, officers can instantly access footage from the thousands of cameras, license plate readers and radiation detectors located throughout the city.
At the same time, they can look up relevant 911 calls, arrest records, related crimes and other data with the new Domain Awareness System, according to the NYPD.
“It is one-stop shopping for investigators,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said at a high-tech command center in lower Manhattan. “It’s a tremendous amount of information that’s available, and it’s available quickly.”
When Kelly first became commissioner in 2002, the department was still using Wite-Out and carbon paper, he said.
But now, with the help of powerful software, police can immediately rewind video feeds to see who left a suspicious package.
They can also track where a car associated with a suspect is, and where it has been over the previous days, weeks and months, according to Kelly.
Though New York City spent $30 million to $40 million developing the system, it will get 30 percent of revenues that Microsoft collects selling the system to other cities.
“We think we can recoup all of our expenses over a period of time and maybe even make a few bucks,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
New York has about 3,000 cameras linked up with the Domain Awareness System, the majority of which are in lower Manhattan, south of Canal Street, or in midtown between 30th Street and 60th Street, police said.
Crime fighting data system announced day after shootings
Bloomberg announced the new crime-fighting technology the day after he toured borough precincts during Tuesday night’s National Night Out Against Crime event. That same night, the city reportedly experienced eight shootings. Bloomberg has defended the police department’s ability to fight crime and the city’s safety numbers, despite opponents who criticize the number of police officers as too few and tactics such as stop-and-frisk.
Bloomberg responds to privacy concerns
“The NYPD’s camera system has enormous potential for abuse and therefore should have strict privacy protections,”?NYCLU associate legal director Christopher Dunn said. Bloomberg asserted yesterday that the prevalence of smartphones makes it hard to do anything without being filmed.