Police “smart cars” to be equipped with fingerprint scanners and facial recognition sensors


NY – The department’s prototype “smart car,” outfitted with the latest gadgets in public safety. It has two infrared monitors mounted on the trunk that record any numbers it sees—such as license plates and addresses. It has surveillance cameras and air sensors capable of sending real-time information to police headquarters. The NYPD says it is the cruiser of the very near future.   

The smart car is one of dozens of projects included in a long-term strategic plan known asNYPD2020, prepared in November for Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

The 13-page report describes initiatives ranging from the high-tech (500 officers have received Samsung Rugby smartphones equipped to deliver real-time crime data) to the bureaucratic (new guidelines for recruiting and keeping qualified candidates). More than a dozen are already under way.

The initiative began in 2011, under the guidance of McKinsey & Co. The consulting firm worked with NYPD officials over 11 months to create a road map for the department over the next decade. McKinsey & Co. declined to comment.

The report said using a consultant would help force change in such a large organization. Experts agreed. “Even the NYPD is limited in the things they can and can’t do,” said Jon Shane, a professor in the Department of Law, Police Science and Criminal Justice Administration at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Mr. Kelly then charged the NYPD’s project-management office to decide which of the nearly 260 projects could be started immediately. The office’s seven employees, who have experience in technology, economics and terrorism analysis, is led by Deputy Inspector Brandon del Pozo, a 16-year NYPD veteran.

The smart car prototype has been on the road for about a year and is based out of the 84th Precinct in Brooklyn Heights. The idea came about as the NYPD looked for ways to connect intelligence gathered in the field with the department’s new system that compiles raw data, video feeds and other information, then alerts officials to potential incidents and maps where crimes occur. The system is already at police headquarters, and will soon be in each precinct and command around the city.

The car’s scanner can read license plates, then check the results against a database that contains the plate numbers of cars that are stolen, may have been involved in a crime, or have outstanding infractions. The data is stored for an indefinite period, though that will likely change, Mr. del Pozo said.

“It reads any set of numbers,” Mr. del Pozo said. “If it doesn’t get a hit, it gets stored. We don’t look at [the results] unless an investigation points to them.”

A detector attached to the rear windshield can scan the air for increased radiation levels, and ship the results back to an NYPD command center.

Some of these capabilities already exist in some squad cars, but no other car is outfitted with all of the technology, Mr. del Pozo said, adding that future smart cars might include fingerprint scanners and facial recognition sensors.


6 thoughts on “Police “smart cars” to be equipped with fingerprint scanners and facial recognition sensors

  1. As I said before, their systems can be hacked and shut down by the government or anyone else just as easily as any other car. I don’t car how hi-tech it is. Watch that car be scrap metal after an EMP blast. Criminals already have that technology, so once they use it on the cops, it’s “Ba-bye” police cruiser! Getting away with a crime has never been so easy than it is now.

    The more computers and electronics you put in a car, the less you control that car. It’s that simple. Once again, there are some things computers and electronics aren’t meant for and cars are one of them.

  2. With the I.Q. of cops they are hiring these days I would have to postulate that the average cop is completely and utterly incapable of successfully operating a “smart car.”
    Probably shoot the “smart car” and claim he felt threatened by it.

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