The New York City Police Department today issued over 130 handheld devices
that permit officers in the field to retrieve warrants, wanted photos, gun
licenses, orders of protection, car registrations, and thousands of other
The devices, distributed to patrol officers and detectives in the five
boroughs, are being used in a six month field test to measure their ruggedness
and reliability on the street.
"We want to put as much high technology as possible literally into the hands
of our officers," said Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly. "This is an
important step in the right direction."
A total of 200 devices manufactured by three different companies will be
distributed in coming weeks. The two versions deployed today were custom made by
Panasonic for the NYPD. They each cost approximately
$1,000, and $2,000 for a
more ruggedly constructed model. The others are being introduced for field
testing later this month; they are made by GTech and Trimble.
Police officers and detectives will be able to receive important information,
in seconds, from their handheld devices, rather than spend time waiting for
assistance over the telephone or using precious airtime over police radios. They
will be able to check vehicle license plates and driver license records; run
warrant checks through NYSPIN and NCIC, as well as local databases; check NYPD
pistol license databases; as well
as the department's extensive domestic
violence database. In addition officers will be able to retrieve photographs of
bank robbers that appear on department wanted posters along with other relevant
Laptop computers with similar capabilities have already been installed in
approximately 3,000 radio cars.
The handheld devices are available to be photographed at