June 5th, 2009 06:58 PM
NYPD seeks way to let guns 'talk' to one another
Deseret News | NYPD seeks way to let guns 'talk' to one another
NYPD seeks way to let guns 'talk' to one another
By Colleen Long
Published: Friday, June 5, 2009 3:28 p.m. MDT
NEW YORK ó The New York Police Department is looking into adapting futuristic technology that would allow officers' guns to recognize one another in an effort to avoid the type of friendly fire that left a cop dead last week.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly asked his inner circle to compile a list of department initiatives that would help prevent confrontations between fellow officers. Omar J. Edwards, 25, was killed May 28 as he chased a burglary suspect. Edwards had just left work and was dressed in street clothes and had his service weapon drawn. Three plainclothes detectives came upon the scene. When Edwards turned after Officer Andrew Dunton yelled for him to stop, he was shot, according to the NYPD.
On Friday, Paul Browne, the deputy commissioner for public information at the NYPD, said the department is talking with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory about the possibility of tailoring technology for the department.
One idea involves the use of radio frequency tags that would allow officers to pinpoint where other cops are in the city, Browne said. Another involves tags that would work gun-to-gun and use an infrared sensor: When a weapon is pulled from an officer's holster it would trigger a signal that would be sent to the gun of a nearby officer. The signal may be seen or heard.
The research is preliminary. A spokesman for the federal lab said some of the ideas floated by the department, like the use of radio frequency tags, may not work.
"We are scheduled to talk with the department next week," said Pacific Northwest National Laboratory spokesman Geoff Harvey. "Up for discussion will be ideas, capabilities and their limitations. ... 'Why won't this work?' will likely be part of the talk."
The suggestions were among a list sent to city leaders. It also included suggestions on training, such as updating the training video for officers, conducting a firearms refresher course and offering training specific to undercover officers.
Also, the department suggested having anti-crime officers visit and introduce themselves to officers. Officer Andrew Dunton, who fired the shots that killed Edwards, was a member of the anti-crime unit along with the two other officers at the scene.
Edwards, who was posthumously promoted to detective, was buried Thursday. The investigation into the incident is continuing. Dunton has been placed on administrative duty.
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June 5th, 2009 07:15 PM
this just sounds like more junk to cost money and break. There is no substitute for a qualified person making good decisions and following protocol.
June 5th, 2009 07:27 PM
Originally Posted by nutz4utwo
take away the LEO's requirement to think before they pull the trigger and you may end up with more people wrongfully shot.
There's nothing wrong with shooting so long as the right people get shot. -- Dirty Harry Calahan
June 5th, 2009 07:43 PM
I agree that more junk = more breakage. Couldn't this also lead to confusion should a criminal snatch a cops gun? Would the system be such that you could "update" the guns in the event that one is stolen (highly unlikely).
Could the system be spoofed? Both RFID and IR can be spoofed (this is why credit cards with RFID are bad).
Or you could wrap your tinfoil hat around it and block the signals...
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June 5th, 2009 09:13 PM
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June 5th, 2009 09:14 PM
Yup. Just another thing to break. And it'd be experimental, so it'd be that much more likely to break. And there'd be idiots relying on it.
Originally Posted by Kenpo
I wonder how long it would take before the BGs could get their hands on both transmitters and receivers?
I often daydreamed about standing outside the legislative building up in Juneau and yelling "Stop! Police!" and seeing how many legislators would "make an aggressive move" by turning to see what the noise was all about.
Originally Posted by Kenpo
Or outside some court house with the lawyers and judges on the sidewalk.
June 5th, 2009 09:30 PM
Just another political answer for real life problem that doesn't exist.
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June 5th, 2009 09:44 PM
yep and some whiz kid hacker/criminal genius figures out away to emulate the signal and supplies the criminal/gang element with a transponder and the police officers won't fire or will hesitate but the BG's won't...end result Open Season on LEO's equipped with the system.
Gotta Love it
June 5th, 2009 09:50 PM
Always grieved to hear about friendly fire. But this technology sounds frought with problems.
June 5th, 2009 10:04 PM
I guess it's because their cops can't stop shooting one another?
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June 6th, 2009 11:14 AM
Since NYC is such a safe city, and cop on cop shootings are such a problem, replace the guns with truncheons like in London. Have a reserve unit of firearms officers for when they are needed.
(Only half serious)
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June 6th, 2009 01:23 PM
It's moronic, but I would expect nothing less.
If this comes to pass, I only have a couple of questions. First, what about non-NYPD LEO's? There sure are a lot of them in the big city. Second, what about personally owned weapons? Do they get retrofitted at department exspense if they are authorized to be carried off duty or as a BUG?
This folly in to "guns talking to each other" is dangerous, as I think any person with common sense would realize. It places too much emphasis on technology and not enough on "Identify Your Target".
June 6th, 2009 03:02 PM
I would expect this kind of logic from New York,How about charging the officer that fired with manslaughter since I'm pretty sure the victim never pointed his weapon at them.It just poves if your holding a gun in New York and not in uniform the cops will shoot first and ask questions later
"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
--Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .
June 6th, 2009 03:41 PM
Sorry duk, but this is not a good idea either, IMHO.
Originally Posted by dukalmighty
I don't have all the answers, but I do know that both officers were in "plainclothes", one on duty and the other off. This is simply a case, although tragic, of mistaken identity. It is reasonable, at this point from the things I've read, to understand how this happened and you or I might have done the same thing in the same situation.
This is why I am such an advocate of not getting involved in stuff when I am off duty. My biggest two fears are shooting the wrong person and being shot off duty.
June 6th, 2009 04:48 PM
With the right know how, $10 and a trip to radio shack would make one effectively bullet proof in NYC if this were implemented.
Or one could also take advantage of the poor trigger discipline that such technology would probably create and make every signal a police officer is carrying become a potential kill order.
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