The NYPD is eyeing a “hands off” approach to stop-and-frisk.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said in his annual State of the NYPD Address yesterday that the department is testing a high-tech device that can detect concealed weapons on pistol-packing perps.
“The technology is going to get there,” Kelly promised. “We’re still in the analyzing stage.”
The scanner can detect the lack of natural radiation emitted from a person carrying a firearm. The machine displays a shadowy image of the gun against the body being scanned.
The multimillion-dollar project — completely underwritten by the US Department of Defense — is currently in the “testing phase” at the NYPD’s training facility at Rodman’s Neck in The Bronx.
Kelly showed a photo of an officer, dressed in a Jets jersey and jeans, carrying a concealed gun after he’s been scanned. The photo, taken from roughly 11 yards away, shows a black object in the shape of a gun on the man’s hip.
“These images are from a recent test we conducted with an officer carrying a hidden handgun. You get a sense of why we’re so hopeful about this tool,” he said.
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne insisted the new technology was not developed in response to the backlash against stop-and-frisk.
“This technology can’t be everywhere at all times. Officers will always have a need, when their safety’s on the line, to pat a person down,” Browne said.
He added, “This brings us closer to making a determination that someone actually has a gun without having to lay a hand on them.”
There’s no projected roll-out date, but when the machines are ready, the department anticipates having multiple units deployed in areas of high gun violence.
“We still have a number of trials to run before we can determine how best to deploy this technology,” Kelly said.
“But we’re very pleased with the progress we’ve made over the past year.”
Republished with permission of The New York Post