NYPD Officers Getting City-Issued Smartphones, Tablets
That lack of smartphones didn't even change following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City, largely because of the significant cost of supplying a large department with equipment and supporting services. But elsewhere in the United States, a growing number of police departments have bought and distributed smartphones and tablets to their officers and are continuing to be a staple for crime-fighting. For example, smartphone projects have been tested or implemented within the 79-member Redlands Police Department in California and in the Jefferson City Police Department in Tennessee over the past several years. However, those departments don't have the 35,000 officers that NYPD has to outfit with the costly technology. For smaller departments, the price tag to place smartphones and tablets into the hands of officers is nowhere the expense of doing so in New York City. "This significant investment will immeasurably enhance law enforcement and the criminal justice system, not only in Manhattan, but throughout the city," New York District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance said in a statement. "By allocating funds secured as a result of criminal misconduct back into our communities, we are placing real-time data in the hands of every police officer. Whether preventing everyday street crime or a potential act of terrorism, this will enable officers to better protect New Yorkers, while at the same time creating a fairer criminal justice system." The new NYPD Mobility Initiative will provide officers with expanded search capabilities, including access to the majority of NYPD databases, as well as the ability to conduct various record checks from the field more quickly, according to the city. The new mobile devices will also enable them to directly receive information pertaining to 911 emergency calls, even before such calls are dispatched by radio. This is expected to lead to faster police responses to emergency calls.