NEW YORK CITY — A partnership between the NYPD and Microsoft is bringing cutting edge technology to city policing.
Speaking at the Real Time Crime Center in the Financial District, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Commissioner Ray Kelly joined representatives from Microsoft to unveil the joint venture.
The new technology, called the Domain Awareness System, combines license plate readers, radiation sensors and about 3,000 closed-circuit cameras across the city.
Part of the agreement between the city and technology giant is that the city will take 30 percent of revenues the company makes by marketing the system to other cities, the mayor said.
"We'll be able to get more than a simple 'thank you' for our efforts," Bloomberg said.
"Here's an investment we made which is going to be invaluable to keeping this city safe, but also, we think we can recoup all of our expenses over a period of time, and maybe even make a few bucks."
The initiative will collect information from different tools and databases and funnel them all to one place, providing real-time alerts and the ability to call up relevant information, like arrest records, immediately.
Police can also map criminal history and 911 calls, track cars associated with a certain license plate, and detect and investigate levels of radiation.
Kelly called the system, which has been in place for about six months, a "transformative tool."
"This is a system developed by police officers, for police officers," Kelly said.
Outside of information gathered about suspects, incidental information is also collected.
For example, the system has the power to automatically scan for license plates associated with a suspect, a representative from the NYPD's counterterrorism unit explained during a presentation.
When asked about privacy implications, the mayor dismissed possible criticism.
"What you're seeing is something that the private sector has done for a long time," Bloomberg said. "People want cameras to protect themselves."