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NYPD Begins Testing Handgun Scanners

January 23, 2013  | 

Photo courtesy of NYPD.
Photo courtesy of NYPD.

The NYPD will soon deploy a new technology that enables officers to detect concealed handguns without using a pat-down search, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Wednesday.

The department has received a machine that reads the natural energy emitted by people and inanimate objects (called terahertz) and allows police to view concealed weapons from a distance, Commissioner Kelly said in his annual "State of the NYPD."

Any device obstructing that radiation will be highlighted by the machine, which is the size of a small television and can be placed inside a cargo truck. The department has been testing the high-tech device at a facility in the Bronx for use on the street.

The device can clearly show a concealed handgun at 11 meters (about 30 feet), Commissioner Paul Browne told POLICE Magazine.

"It's envisioned that we would be able to use this technology in an enclosed truck parked somewhere and see individuals with field weapons as they approach the vehicle," Browne said. "What we're looking here to do is dramatically reduce gun violence by taking guns off the street."

The department's attorneys are researching the Constitutional ramifications of using the technology but believe it would not violate a subject's Fourth Amendment privacy rights, Browne said.

During Commissioner Kelly's speech, the department showed images from the device showing an NYPD officer carrying his Glock G19 pistol under a football jersey. The pistol could be clearly seen in a black shape over a green outline of his body.

The NYPD has been working with Digital Barriers, a United Kingdom-based company, for the past year to develop the technology as part of a research project funded by the Department of Defense. The company delivered the device last week, Browne said.

By Paul Clinton

Comments (6)

Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

LT 604 @ 1/24/2013 10:55 PM

Clearly a Furth Amendment violation. Just like using infrared cameras to detect heat sources coming from residences that have a marijuana grow. The courts closley scrutinize any method onther than plain view.

Random @ 1/25/2013 4:17 AM

You beat me to that one. Kyllo v. United States will end this practice and this department’s money will be lost to a civil action. What sucks is it may result in action criminal/civil against the officers that use it, because it is no longer qualifies for immunity in the light that precedence has been is clearly established.

De4puty068 @ 1/25/2013 6:07 AM

Is the intent to catch 'criminals' or is it to further Mayor Bloomberg's long standing ambition of inflicting the maximum amount of harm to private citizens with CCP's? His politically appointed Police Chief is little less than a water carrier for the Mayor and will do just about anything to keep his job. Too bad - I knew many fine officers from the NYPD and the current crop of guys just struggles to stay even with the 'management' they're getting from Kelly and his crew.

Bob @ VA @ 1/25/2013 6:31 AM

How may undercovers will be blown by this stupidity? How many legally armed citizens, including LEOSAs and plain clothes officers, will find themselves at the point of a gun and treated like criminals because of this stupidity? This is just another idiotic attempt by Bloomberg to destroy constitutional rights (RE: Kyllo) while placing law-abiding citizens and non-uniformed peace officers in grave danger of being shot by mistake.

Gillespie @ 1/25/2013 11:27 AM

lol. Does nobody research the legal aspect of these technologies before implementing them?

Matt @ 1/26/2013 7:42 AM

Constitutional violation or not, Bloomberg and his cronies will field it until forced not to, then continue fielding it anyway. And while I'm walking down the street with my gun concealed, the way it should be, making sure nobody knows I have it; now I have to worry about NY's "Finest" blowing my "cover" and getting me shot by whatever POS gangster see's I have a gun. Is the officer(S) going to walk with me everywhere I go every day after they've made a scene and let every criminal in town know I carry a gun if they want to kill me and take it?

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