Futuristic NYPD gun scanners could replace stop-and-frisk

Posted at 10:39 PM, Jan 23, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-12 15:12:57-04

 It was once a technology only ready in the form of special effects in big action movies, and now it may be coming to a street near you.

The NYPD is developing a gun scanner that reads a natural radiation people emit – showing the outline of whatever may be blocking it, like a gun.

“We’re still in the testing phase,” said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, but added that he’s, “Encouraged by the developments we’ve seen.”


A prototype of the NYPD’s new gun scanner.

The NYPD has been working with a British company to develop the device. Its downside is the same as with the body scanners that the TSA demanded be installed – that it can get a bit invasive as far as the images are concerned.

The gun scanner will have to overcome the body scanner’s short comings, but given the fight over the controversial stop-and-frisk, it may present a solution.

Donna Lieberman of the NYCLU is one of the leading voices against stop and frisk.  The NYCLU filed a freedom of information act with the NYPD to find out more about gun scanners, but their request for transparency was turned down, which leaves little room to find out how transparent people on the street will look.