NYC eyes drones for surveillance

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) is apparently mulling over the idea of deploying drones to assist officials with various law enforcement tasks.

Of course, drones are already flying above the skies of a number of US states, including Miami and Texas. The craft are typically equipped with high-resolution cameras capable of capturing a high-level of detail in real time, such as faces and license plates numbers.

“We’re always looking at [new] technology,” NYPD Spokesman Paul Browne told CBS News.

“Drones aren’t that exotic anymore. Brookstone sells them. We’ve looked at them but haven’t [yet] tested or deployed any.”

But former NYPD officer Gary Weksler believes the deployment of drones over the skies of the Big Apple makes perfect sense and is probably somewhat inevitable.

“Not only would it be a form of intelligence gathering to protect the public, it also in many respects removes the officers, who might be attempting to identify issues, from harm’s way,” Weksler explained.

In the meantime, the NYPD, in conjunction with the the US Department of Defense (DoD), is currently testing a new system that uses terahertz imaging to detect hidden weapons.

The system is placed on police vehicles while officers scan crowds milling around a specific location. It is designed to measure energy radiating from an individual up to 16-feet away, while detecting anomalies like a firearm.

“You could use it at a specific event,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly confirmed. “[Alternatively], you could use it at a shooting-prone location.”

However, Kelly insisted he would only authorize the use of the system in reasonably suspicious circumstances where terahertz imaging would cut down on the number of instances which police stop and frisk a subject.