We heard last year that the New York Police Department was preparing to replace all the Microsoft Lumia handsets they had deployed with iPhones, and now, the plan has apparently shifted into action. But the NYPD didn’t select any of Apple’s three newest iPhone models. Instead, the NYPD switches to iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Officers can choose either of the two models, depending on their preference for screen size.
Given how well the iPhone 7 line-up did after the launch of the three newest models, it doesn’t come as a huge surprise that the police department would pick less expensive models that do just about as much as the iPhone 8 line-up.
NYPD switches to iPhone 7 line-up
The New York Daily News reported this week that NYPD officers are being told to take their old Lumia handsets to an old police academy located in Gramercy Park, where they’re being swapped for iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus handsets. The rollout of Apple’s iPhones to NYPD officers is starting with those serving in the Patrol Borough Manhattan South, which stretches between Wall Street and 59th Street.
A spokesperson for the police department told the news outlet that they’ve been handing out approximately 600 iPhones every day. She also said that they’re “seeing a lot of excitement” over the new phones. The iPhones started appearing at some of the city’s local precincts a little before Christmas. Bronx and Staten Island officers have already received their new iPhones.
After all the officers in Manhattan are outfitted with new iPhones, the rollout shifts to Brooklyn, followed by Queens.
Changes as the NYPD switches to iPhone
Police officers are learning how to do on their iPhone everything they used to do on their Lumias. The models destined for the NYPD will provide easy access to criminal background checks, 911 dispatches, and even real-time video. Officers are also using the new handsets to fill out summonses and reports for accidents and domestic violence incidents.
The NYPD started putting smartphones in police officers’ hands less than four years ago, and since then, the department’s technological capabilities have increased. According to the New York Daily News, 911 dispatches are delivered over phones before they’re even sent out over radios. As a result, officers are able to reach locations much faster. Sometimes they’ve even arrived on the scene before a dispatch is actually put out over the radio, so their response times have been shortened. According to a department spokesperson, response times to serious crimes in progress have dropped 14%.
Police are also able to use their smartphones to get surveillance photos and videos taken within minutes of a crime’s occurrence and then send them out much faster.