New York City Police Department officials teamed up with Microsoft to unveil the new Domain Awareness System, which is designed to pull together public data in real time, including crime records, 911 calls and footage from about 3,000 surveillance cameras. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
It's called The Domain Awareness System and the NYPD said the new technology is faster and better when it comes to fighting crime and terrorism.
At the department's Lower Manhattan security initiative, officers can now use the high-tech surveillance system to track suspicious people, cars and packages.
"The system allows us to connect the dots by instantly tapping into the details of crime records, 911 calls, license plate readers, video tape footage and more," said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
Within seconds, all of the information comes up on monitors. The system can even detect radioactive material and issue an alert.
The city and its partner Microsoft think the system is so good, the software will now be sold to other law enforcement agencies. New York will get 30 percent of all revenues.
"Here is an investment we have made that is going to be invaluable to keeping this city safe," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "But also, we believe we can recoup all of our expenses over time and even make a few bucks."
Police officials said all of this technology is not just for fighting terrorism in Manhattan. It can also be used to fight crime across the city.
"Any 911 calls about shots fired last week," said Jessica Tisch of the NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau. "With a few clicks, we call pull up all calls for shots fired in the Bronx."
"We can track where a car associated with a murder suspect is and where is has been over the last several days, weeks, or months," Kelly said.
Most of the 3,000 cameras and detection devices are in Midtown and Lower Manhattan but the city says it wants to expand into other boroughs.
But should people worry about all this this monitoring? The mayor says nowadays cameras are everywhere.
"If there is a shooting, one of the first things police officers do is go to buildings in the neighborhood, all of whom almost have cameras," he said. "Today, everybody's got a smart phone and they are filming everything. It is pretty hard to do anything where somebody wasn't filming you."
He said people just have to get used to that, especially if they want to be safe.