Microsoft, NYPD Partner to Build Counterterrorism System
Microsoft is all in with crime prevention and counterterrorism as part of a new partnership between the software giant and the New York Police Department (NYPD) aimed at keeping the Big Apple safe with an innovative new system based on Microsoft technology.
At an Aug. 8 press conference at the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative headquarters, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly announced a partnership with Microsoft designed to bring the latest crime prevention and counterterrorism technology capabilities to worldwide law enforcement, public safety and intelligence agencies, among others.
The NYPD teamed with Microsoft to develop the Domain Awareness System (DAS), a sophisticated law enforcement technology solution that aggregates and analyzes public safety data in real time, providing NYPD investigators and analysts with a comprehensive view of potential threats and criminal activity.
"I want everyone to be assured that Microsoft is deeply committed to taking this initiative to another level and, as we say in our company, we re all in," said Mike McDuffie, Microsoft's vice president of Americas Services, who represented Microsoft at the event.
Commissioner Kelly said a major factor the NYPD is excited about is the usefulness of DAS, in that it is a system created by police officers for police officers.
"The system was created as a result of police officers, detectives and software developers working side by side," Bloomberg said. "Microsoft provided the technical and engineering muscle, but NYPD personnel were the architects of this system."
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 the department s mission.
The NYPD and Microsoft jointly developed the DAS by bringing together Microsoft's technical expertise and technologies with the day-to-day experience and knowledge of NYPD officers. The result is a solution that is uniquely tailored to meet the specific needs of its users. As part of the agreement, the NYPD will receive 30 percent of revenue from the sales of the DAS system to other customers worldwide, Bloomberg said.
"Without the expertise and leadership of those protecting this city, you can t bring the technology to bear," McDuffie said. "It's a privilege to be trusted by this great institution in bringing our technologies in and, most importantly, to take this unique capability to other law enforcement agencies and justice and public safety institutions, not only in the U.S, but to our allies." McDuffie retired as a lieutenant general in the U.S. Army after spending 31 years in the military.
The DAS system processes real-time data to prevent crime and terrorist activity. For example, analysts are notified of suspicious packages and vehicles, and NYPD personnel can actively search for suspects using advanced technologies such as smart cameras and license plate readers.
"Part of the reason we have been able to continue driving down crime to record lows while devoting considerable resources to counterterrorism is our heavy investment in technology and our willingness to develop new, cutting-edge solutions to keep New Yorkers safe," Bloomberg said in a statement. "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 counterterrorism programs."
"The system s development is a testament to the talent and experience of our officers," Kelly said. "And this agreement with Microsoft will allow the NYPD to continue to fund innovative counterterrorism and crime prevention programs."
DAS combines NYPD operational knowledge with Microsoft technology expertise, and Microsoft is now bringing the solution to market in an effort to extend these capabilities to other jurisdictions. Public safety organizations interested in deploying DAS will go through a process of customization based on unique organizational and regional requirements.