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NYPD Testing "Smart" Patrol Car in Brooklyn: Report

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    The NYPD car of the future can scan your license plate, test the air for radiation and send live video to police headquarters -- and it’s already cruising the streets in Brooklyn, according to a report.

    The department’s “smart” car, fitted with infrared sensors, surveillance cameras and radiation monitors, is being tested in DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights, NYPD officials told the Wall Street Journal Thursday.

    The car, a Ford hybrid, is just one piece of a vision for the department's future in a long-term plan prepared by outgoing Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, the newspaper reports. Other initiatives include everything from real-time tracking of crime data using smartphones to administrative guidelines for recruiting qualified officers.

    The car can use it’s infrared scanner to check license plates for stolen cars or ones belonging to drivers with unpaid traffic tickets, and a monitor on the rear windshield can scan for heightened levels of radiation. The car also communicates back with police computer systems in real-time, the Journal reports.

    Not all of the technology is new -- some cars in the NYPD’s fleet already feature some of the sensors -- but not all of them incorporate all of the gadgets, police say. Future prototypes might also include fingerprint scanners and facial detection sensors.

    The hope is that new technology will help officers make better decisions in the field, NYPD Deputy Inspector Brandon del Pozo told the Journal.

    "If you look in the trunk of a police car, we have a lot of things that aren't smart, but they are necessary. We have a shield, we have a fire extinguisher…we have a very powerful flashlight, we have a first aid kit. So, the thought is always, what can cops bring with them to the scene that can increase their effectiveness," he said.

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