The NYPD is developing technology similar to infrared scanning that would detect concealed weapons, said Commissioner Ray Kelly yesterday, according to the Daily News.
The new technology uses a mechanism that can detect terahertz radiation, or natural energy emitted from a human body, but cannot travel through metal, says the report. So, the silhouette of a gun hidden under someone’s jacket would show up on the radar.
The NYPD hopes to install these devices, which currently can only be used at a distance of three to four feet, on police vehicles in the near future, says the report. Commissioner Kelly said he would like to see the technology eventually work at a distance of 25 meters, according to the News.
New York City American Civil Liberties Union executive director Donna Lieberman issued a statement saying that they “find this proposal both intriguing and worrisome.”
“On the one hand, if technology like this worked as it was billed, New York City should see it’s stop-and-frisk rate drop by a half-million people a year. On the other hand, the ability to walk down the street free from a virtual police pat-down is a matter of privacy,” Lieberman said.