New York City Police Department and Microsoft are partnering in the creation and implementation of a futuristic crime fighting tool that could revolutionize policing.
The Domain Awareness System, known as the dashboard, gives easy access to the police department's voluminous arrest records, 911 calls, more than 3,000 security cameras citywide, license plate readers and portable radiation detectors. This is all public data - not additional surveillance, reported the Seattle Times.
Right now, it is used only in NYPD offices, mostly in the counterterrorism unit. Eventually, the system could supply crime-fighting information in real time to officers on laptops in their squad cars and on mobile devices while they walk the beat.
"It works incredibly well," Jessica Tisch, director of planning and policy for the counterterrorism unit, told the Times.
For example, officers used the system during a deadly shooting outside the Empire State Building in August. Dozens of 911 calls were coming in, and it initially looked like an attack staged by several gunmen. But officers mapped the information and pulled up cameras within 500 feet of the reported shots to determine there was only one shooter.
"This is the kind of stuff you used to only see in movies," Rob Enderle of Enderle Group, a technology analysis firm, told the Times. "Getting it to work in a way that police departments can use in real time is huge."
The venture began in 2009 when the NYPD approached Microsoft about building software to help mine data for the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative, a network of private and public cameras and other tools monitored by the department's counterterrorism bureau. Development cost the department between $30 million and $40 million, officials said.
According to the Times, the system uses hundreds of thousands of pieces of information. Security camera footage can be rewound five minutes so that officers can see suspects who may have fled. Sensors pick up whether a bag has been left sitting for a while. When an emergency call comes in, officers can check prior 911 calls from that address to see what they might be up against.
To read more: http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2020393483_apushightechnypd.html