Police use all kinds of high-tech tools to fight crime. Now the NYPD wants to use the trendiest high-tech tool of all: Drones.
Unmanned drones with cameras and microphones could help spy on crime hotspots, New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said. He's looking in particular at housing projects, where shootings are up 32 percent this year.
They might get the drones soon, but the NYPD has already budgeted $500,000 for a pilot program to test gunshot detectors. They'll help police find where shots are being fired quickly.
John Miller, the NYPD’s head of intelligence, says the gunshot detectors could be deployed with drones to get cops a photograph of a shooter.
“You could see an application where a drone could be not only a very effective crime fighting tool but could actually show you where the bad guys are going leaving the scene,” he said.
The gunshot devices are already being used in other cities, including Oakland and Milwaukee, with mixed results. Some of the detectors failed to decipher fireworks from gunshots.
Bratton said other cities have found that between 50% and 70% of their shootings go unreported to 911 — meaning the detectors may fill a gap in tracking crime.
There are other ways police are using new tech to fight crime. Take a look at this app that crowdsources crime fighting.