NYPD testing gun detection technology: Commissioner
New York's Finest are testing a high tech method to get guns off the streets, Commissioner Ray Kelly said Wednesday.
The new vehicle-mounted device was delivered to the NYPD last week and allows police to use natural energy known as "terahertz" to reveal a weapon by sensing when an object conceals the flow of the energy, Kelly told a breakfast forum of the nonprofit New York Police Foundation.
"We still have a number of trials to run before we can determine how best to deploy this technology. But we're very pleased with the progress we've made over the past year," Kelly said.
Kelly actually began mentioning the emerging technology a year ago, but at the time the device was still too large to be mobile or practical, a law enforcement official told Newsday.
During his talk, Kelly displayed photos from a recent test of the system at the police range in the Bronx. The images showed a normal photograph of an off-duty officer juxtaposed with his terahertz image, which depicted a gun-shaped object under his shirt.
Unlike x-ray devices, terahertz detectors do not send energy toward the person being scanned. The detectors also do not reveal intimate body areas.
The NYPD has come under fire for some of its tactics to get guns off the street such as "stop and frisk." Donna Liberman, the head of the New York Civil Liberties Union said she would be keeping her eye on the scanners.
"It raises a lot of questions as well as hopes," she said.