Aug 08, 2012  |  NYC.gov

Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today announced a new partnership with Microsoft designed to bring the latest crime prevention and counterterrorism technology capabilities to New York City and to law enforcement, public safety, and intelligence agencies worldwide. The NYPD and Microsoft worked together to develop the Domain Awareness System, a sophisticated law enforcement technology solution that aggregates and analyzes existing public safety data streams in real time, providing NYPD investigators and analysts with a comprehensive view of potential threats and criminal activity. For example, analysts are quickly notified of suspicious packages and vehicles and NYPD personnel can actively search for suspects using advanced technologies like smart cameras and license plate readers.

The NYPD and Microsoft jointly developed the system by bringing together Microsoft’s technical expertise and technologies with the day-to-day experience and knowledge of NYPD officers. As part of the agreement, the City will receive 30 percent of revenues on Microsoft’s future sales of the Domain Awareness System, which will be used to support innovative and cutting-edge crime-prevention and counter-terrorism programs. The Mayor and Police Commissioner were joined at the announcement in Lower Manhattan at the NYPD’s Lower Manhattan Security Initiative headquarters by Deputy Mayor for Operations Cas Holloway, Commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Communications Rahul Merchant and Vice President of Microsoft Americas Services (Ret.) Lieutenant General Mike McDuffie.

“Part of the reason we have been able to continue driving down crime to record lows while devoting considerable resources counter-terrorism is our heavy investment in technology and our willingness to develop new, cutting-edge solutions to keep New Yorkers safe,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “This new system capitalizes on new powerful policing software that allows police officers and other personnel to more quickly access relevant information gathered from existing cameras, 911 calls, previous crime reports and other existing tools and technology. It will help the NYPD do more to prevent crimes from occurring and help them respond to crimes even more effectively. And because the NYPD built the system in partnership with Microsoft, the sale of the product will generate revenue for the City that will fund more new crime-prevention and counter-terrorism programs.”

“The system is a transformative tool because it was created by police officers for police officers,” said Police Commissioner Kelly. “Its development is a testament to the talent and experience of our officers. And this agreement with Microsoft will allow the NYPD to continue to fund innovative counterterrorism and crime prevention programs.”

“Microsoft is honored to partner with the NYPD to provide these important public safety capabilities to other jurisdictions,” said Kathleen Hogan, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Services. “The NYPD is a respected leader and continuously innovating to ensure the safety of their citizens. It is a privilege to support their work with our technology and professional services.”

The Domain Awareness System is a powerful counterterrorism and policing tool for retrieving and displaying information from cameras, license plate readers, environmental sensors and law enforcement databases. Using an intelligent and intuitive graphical interface, it provides real-time alerts and the means to quickly call up relevant information to guide and inform police action. Its mapping features, which are tied to rich data sources, support investigations, crime analysis and effective management of police resources. The system, developed by police officers for police officers, is an innovative tool that has the potential to revolutionize law enforcement, intelligence and public safety operations.

Examples of scenarios where the new system will help the NYPD prevent or solve crimes:

  • Investigators will have immediate access to information through live video feeds, and instantly see suspect arrest records, 911 calls associated with the suspect, related crimes occurring in the area and more;
  • Investigators can map criminal history to geospatially and chronologically reveal crime patterns;
  • Investigators can track where a car associated with a suspect is located, and where it has been in past days, weeks or months;
  • Police commanders can query databases to map, review and correlate crime information with the deployment of resources;
  • If a suspicious package is left at a location, the NYPD can immediately tap into video feeds and quickly look back in time and see who left it there; or
  • If radiation detectors in the field set off alarms and alert the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative command center, the new system will help quickly identify whether the radioactive material is naturally occurring, a weapon, or a harmless isotope used in medical treatments.

The City has approximately 3,000 Closed-Circuit TV cameras connected to the Domain Awareness System. The majority of these cameras are in Lower Manhattan – south of Canal Street, from river to river – and in Midtown Manhattan – between 30th street and 60th street, from river to river. NYPD has begun to expand camera coverage to in the boroughs outside of Manhattan.

System Development

The NYPD and Microsoft jointly developed the system by bringing together Microsoft’s technical expertise and technologies with the day-to-day experience and knowledge of NYPD personnel. Microsoft handled the coding and system architecture, and the NYPD set out the system requirements, which were developed through an exhaustive series of focus groups in which members of the NYPD thought critically and creatively about how they perform their jobs and how technology could facilitate and streamline efficient operations of our mission.

Agreement with Microsoft

Microsoft has agreed to pay the City 30 percent of its gross revenues on the sale of the system to other customers worldwide. In addition, Microsoft will provide access to any innovation derived from the sale of the system to new customers. The NYPD has agreed to describe accurately the project to prospective licensees of the base technology platform. Revenue generated for the City from the sale of this technology will be used to support innovative and cutting-edge counter-terrorism and crime-prevention programs.

The agreement encourages the sharing of cutting-edge best practices and innovation in order to fight terrorism and crime. The agreement allowed City government to leverage its resources to utilize a private sector company to create a tool to better protect New Yorkers and to create a product that can help other jurisdictions or companies benefit from the expertise of the NYPD.

For more information on the technology, law enforcement organizations can contact JPSINFO@Microsoft.com.


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