In a partnership between the New York Police Department and Microsoft Corp., a “Domain Awareness System,” known as the dashboard, gives easy access to voluminous police arrest records, 911 calls, more than 3,000 security cameras, license plate readers, and portable radiation detectors. The Associated Press says the project, in use for a year, could provide NYPD with tens of millions of dollars under an unprecedented marketing deal that allows Microsoft to sell the system to other law enforcement agencies and civilian companies around the world. The city will get a 30 percent cut.
Now, it is used only in NYPD offices, mostly in the counterterrorism unit. Eventually, the system could supply crime-fighting information in real time to officers on laptops in squad cars and on mobile devices while they walk the beat. “It works incredibly well,” said Jessica Tisch, director of planning and policy for the counterterrorism unit. Officers used the system during a deadly shooting outside the Empire State Building in August. As dozens of 911 calls came in, it initially looked like an attack staged by several gunmen. Officers mapped the information and pulled up cameras within 500 feet of the reported shots to determine there was only one shooter. “This is the kind of stuff you used to only see in movies,” said Rob Enderle of Enderle Group, a technology analysis firm. “Getting it to work in a way that police departments can use in real time is huge.”