Now, the NYPD is using cell phones to foster safety in a different way. NY1 reported that by next month, all NYPD officers will have their own special smart phones.
These special smart phones are loaded with policing applications that offer cops an almost inconceivable amount of information, and the ability to procure search warrants remotely.
"The universal search app that provides enterprise search of all department databases and certain federal databases," said Jessica Tisch, NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Information Technology.
As of now, more than 25,000 officers have these phones. In a matter of weeks, all of New York City's 36,000 cops will have one.
"It is clear that these department smart phones represent the single largest transformation in emergency communications in over half of a century for sure," said Jessica Tisch.
Here's an example of how these new phones will enhance the NYPD's communication. Last week, 73rd precinct cops got alerts on their smart phones' high tech shot-spotter system that eight shots had been fired near 409 Saratoga Avenue.
Then, they searched the building's roof and found bullet casings. Again, they used their phones and discovered that there was a woman in the building with an outstanding arrest warrant.
Over their phones, they acquired a search warrant for her apartment, found guns, and made three arrests.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton says these new phones are just the beginning.
"We've already begun looking at using FaceTime and Skype on these devices so the officers may never need to have to go to traffic court or summonses court," Bratton said. "He'll be able to literally be called from court, go online and engage in a dialogue face-to-face."
Last Monday alone the NYPD used these specialized smart phones to view 2,000 wanted flyers, conduct 36,000 database searches, and reviewed information about 29,000 911 calls on their phones.
Needless to say, things have really taken off since the NYPD began using walkie-talkies in 1962.[via NY1] [Feature Image Courtesy BK Reader]