Cops To Be Armed with Tech Tablets

Jessica Tisch, the NYPD's Deputy Commissioner of Information and Technology, demonstrates what the new tablet computer might do.

City police officers will soon be carrying tablet computers that can access a range of high-tech data in the field. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton announced the pilot program on Tuesday at a speech in midtown, saying the hand-held computers will connect to information collected by the department’s massive Domain Awareness System.

Jessica Tisch, the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of Information and Technology, is programming the gadgets to send officers text messages about the issue or call they’re responding to. "The arrests, the complaints, the warrants,” said Tisch, ticking off the kind of alerts cops will receive. The program is expected to be rolled out in the spring. No word yet on how many will be distributed at first — or what they’ll cost. The New York Civil Liberties Union is concerned about the burgeoning access to a smorgasbord of sensitive data that’s merely a click away. “The broader the access to information police have about law-abiding New Yorkers," said Chris Dunn, the NYCLU’s Associate Legal Director, “the greater the need for privacy protections.”