New York to Test Weapons Detection Technology in Subway System

Aldgra Fredly
By Aldgra Fredly
March 29, 2024New York

New York City planned to test technology that can detect firearms on passengers in its subway system as part of an effort to deter violence in underground transit, its mayor announced on Thursday.

NYC Mayor Eric Adams said the New York Police Department (NYPD) will begin testing portable scanning machines at several stations after a 90-day notice period under city law for new surveillance technology.

“Keeping New Yorkers safe on the subway and maintaining confidence in the system is key to ensuring that New York remains the safest big city in America,” he said during a press briefing.

The mayor showcased in Thursday’s event at the Fulton Street subway station a scanner produced by Evolv, a Massachusetts-based company specializing in security technology.

He also announced that the city would hire clinicians to support the Subway Co-Response Outreach Teams, a pilot program that aims to connect people with untreated severe mental illness in the subways to treatment and care.

“Today’s announcement is the next step in our ongoing efforts to keep dangerous weapons out of our transit system and to provide greater mental health services for New Yorkers in crisis,” Mr. Adams said.

Mr. Adams said that during the 90-day period, the NYPD would work to identify companies with proven expertise in weapons detection technology. After it ends, a pilot program will be instituted in some subway stations “where the NYPD will be able to further evaluate the equipment’s effectiveness.”

‘Gun Detection Systems Are Flawed’

Jerome Greco, supervising attorney of the digital forensics unit at the Legal Aid Society, has criticized the move and said that New York City “should not serve as a testing ground for surveillance corporations.”

Mr. Greco stated that the public has “not consented to be a part of these experiments” and called on New Yorkers to voice their concerns over these “dystopian technologies.”

“Simply put, gun detection systems are flawed and frequently trigger false alarms, which induces panic and creates situations that could result in the loss of life,” Mr. Greco said in a press release.

“This Administration’s headstrong reliance on technology as a panacea to further public safety is misguided, costly, and creates significant invasions of privacy,” he added.

New York state banned people from having guns in what it designates as “sensitive locations,” including public transportation, in 2022. The law is being challenged by gun owners’ rights groups, which say it conflicts with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling earlier in 2022 that found people have a constitutional right to carry weapons in public.

Nearly 4 million trips are made on the city’s subway on a typical weekday, and crime remains relatively rare: The city said that felony crimes, such as thefts and assaults, were down 15 percent in March compared with the same month last year.

“The brave men and women of the NYPD are averaging more than 4,500 gun arrests a year since the start of this administration and have taken well over 15,000 illegal firearms off New York City streets so far,” NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban told reporters.

Reuters contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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