Feature Article

October 27, 2014

NYPD Mobility Initiative Gets $160M to Purchase 41,000 Mobile Devices

Currently, the NYPD has around 34,500 uniformed police officers as well as administrative support, bringing the total number of employees working for the department to 51,000. One of the challenges the organization faces is the delivery of real-time data to its officers while they are on duty. Even though the two-way radio communication system they currently use is effective, the amount of data they are able to receive is limited to what can be communicated with voice, especially when they are outside of the patrol car where they don’t have access to the vehicle’s onboard computer. To overcome this hurdle, the organization announced a new initiative to enhance NYPD mobile communications with the acquisition of 41,000 mobile devices.

This new initiative will provide 35,000 handset for officers and 6,000 ruggedized tablets for their vehicles. The $160 million required to purchase these items was obtained from a criminal asset forfeiture through recent sanctions cases.

Using this technology will allow officers in the field access to valuable information so they can make informed decisions about a wide range of situations they are confronted with daily.

“This technology funding will significantly help to advance the NYPD’s move into 21st Century policing. The timely access to critical information is key to effective policing and enhanced public safety. This initiative will clearly result in more efficient crime-fighting, counter-terrorism measures, and service to the people of New York City. I want to thank New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance for his invaluable support in furthering this important technological advancement,” said Police Commissioner William J. Bratton.

According to the department, officers will now have access to different tools that have been developed to fight crime at their fingertips, instead of having to go back to the police station to access these resources.

The new NYPD Mobility technology will include:

  • Integration of the Domain Awareness System (DAS) the Department pioneered to detect and prevent terrorist acts to the mobile platform.
  • Enhanced Patrol Efficiencies - Patrol officers will have expanded search capabilities, including access to the majority of NYPD databases, and will be able to conduct various record checks from the field in a timely manner.
  • Officer Safety Features - Real-time 911 data, including call-taker notes, the past history of 911 calls, and complaints and police actions at dispatched locations will be available to responding officers.
  • Detective Support - Detectives working active cases in the field will have access to the full range of investigative databases, creating a virtual portable Real Time Crime Center. The detectives will be tied into the Department’s Enterprise Case Management System, allowing them to review and update case information from the field.
  • Direct and Decentralized Communications - Wanted posters, Amber Alerts and missing person’s photos can be sent to field officers immediately, thus enhancing the potential for a more timely arrest, victim recovery or rescue.
  • Enhanced Communication - Email addresses will be established for all officers to improve Department communications across the board.
  • Counterterrorism Force Multiplier - The ability to promptly alert field officers will have particular benefits for possible counterterrorism issues. Alerts will be transmitted directly to officers in the field through their electronic devices, thus providing critical information and updates in a timely and coordinated manner.

The initiative will continue to provide advanced technologies throughout the department by increasing capabilities with better service and storage to support the delivery of the application to mobile devices, security, network enhancement, application development, tech support and the full integration of the NYPD’s case management system.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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