Friday, April 30, 2021

Why Don't Police Have To Get Public Approval Before Getting Expensive New "Public Safety" Toys?

gothamist |  Thanks to FEMA cash the NYPD has a bulletproof boat, but that isn't close to the only toy in the Department's nautical arsenal. A story in today's Times takes a look at the NYPD Harbor Unit, which has become increasingly important to counterterrorism in the past few years. All of which is to say, the NYPD's six remote-controlled submarines will put those flimsy (banned) motorized model boats in Central Park to shame!

Seriously, these are some fancy and expensive toys (four of them, bought in 2007, cost $75,000 each and the other two, bought in 2008, cost $120,000 a pop!) that are crucial, along with the 34 vessels in the department's fleet, in helping the NYPD look around under boats and bridges in our expansive waterways for potential bombs (and drugs, contraband and criminals). So far the drone submarines haven't actually found a bomb, but when they do, the Harbor Unit is call in the Navy to deal with the bomb ("We mark the location, get out of the water and call them," a detective explains). 

dnainfo |   The NYPD’s International Liaison Program that posts detectives in nearly a dozen foreign cities is a waste of money that has not prevented any attacks, say sources who have dealt with the officials overseas.

Former NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly systematically began assigning NYPD personnel in foreign port-of-calls — using money from a charity to pay for it — not long after taking office in post-9/11 New York. He was eager to get information quickly and directly from his own personnel rather than rely on the feds.

But former federal officials who served overseas told “On The Inside” the NYPD detectives are ineffective, often angering and confusing the foreign law enforcement officials they are trying to work with, and are usually relegated to the sidelines because they lack national security clearance.

nypost |  The NYPD will part ways with “Digidog,” the robotic police dog that earned Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s wrath and became the subject of a City Council subpoena after images of it went viral.

The department told The Post on Wednesday that it ended a contract with Boston Dynamics to lease the four-legged robo-cop.

“The contract has been terminated and the dog will be returned,” a spokesperson said.

The sudden termination comes after a clip of the machine patrolling a Manhattan housing project went viral, sparking backlash and drawing comparisons to the dystopic TV series “Black Mirror.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio then urged the NYPD to “rethink” its use of the robot. Eventually, City Council leaders agreed and decided to subpoena the NYPD to find out its cost.