Last Summer the NYPD announced plans to equip its 35,000 officers with Windows Phones. At the time, uses for the phones included: accessing a new domain awareness system, viewing 911 calls, accessing several New York databases, and using voice translation services. Since this initial announcement, the department has gone on to use the phones with more than 25,000 officers, and is now announcing that within weeks all NYPD officers will be carrying the device.
In a report done by NY1 News, the NYPD says that the highly specialized Windows Phone devices have worked as a major success in fighting crimes. According to the NYPD, on February 22nd alone, police officers looked at 2,000 wanted flyers, conducted 36,00 database searches, and reviewed information about 29,000 911 calls on the Windows Phone devices.
The devices are a major change from the walkie-talkie that officers have been accustomed to using since 1962. NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Information Technology told the news station:
It is clear that these department smart phones represent the single largest transformation in emergency communications in over a half of century for sure
Of course, the new technology brings concerns that officers might spend less time policing and more time on the devices. NYPD Chief of Commissioner addressed the issue and told the news station:
We push that out to everybody to make sure if you are together, one person looks at the phone and if you are by yourself you have to be careful how you use it.
Just on Friday, a plain-clothed NYPD officer used the department-issued device to match the wanted photo of a suspect in a fatal November murder in New York City. After police saw the suspect walking on the Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue subway platform, they pulled his wanted poster up on the phone, matched him, and nabbed him for an unrelated violation. Thanks to that, and the phone, once they nabbed him, they were able to charge him with the November murder.