Deputy Commissioner of Information & Technology Jessica Tisch’s Response to NY Post Article

This Sunday, while a Post reporter was writing her story, NYPD officers used their smartphones to help respond to over 25,000 911 calls; ran 18,000 searches; and viewed 1,080 flyers of missing or wanted persons. Sunday is a slow day.

Three years ago we made the decision to bring mobility to the NYPD. At that time, neither iOS nor Android phones allowed us to cost-effectively utilize prior investment in custom Windows applications.

Moreover, we assessed that the Windows platform would be most effective at achieving our goal of securing 36,000 devices that would be used for sensitive law enforcement operations. This was of paramount importance. The devices were rolled out as tools to help officers fight crime, enhance their safety and improve policing in New York City.

The contract entered provided for the smartphones at no cost. It also allowed for the NYPD to replace the smartphones with devices of our choosing two years later, also at no cost.

We have since continually reviewed the evolution of mobile platforms. A year ago, we learned that improvements in Apple controls would allow NYPD to responsibly and cost effectively move our mobility initiative to the Apple platform. We began plans to make the transition, which will take effect this fall.

Our smartphone initiative is 45% under budget. Based on current rate of spending, we expect to stretch what was initially budgeted at two years of spending to more than four years.

The smartphones have made our cops smarter, faster, and more agile in their response to 911 calls, with response times down more than 8 percent. Whether it’s the parent whose child has gone missing, the driver who needs a copy of an accident report, or a domestic violence victim whose life may be saved by a faster emergency response, the smartphone program has made the NYPD, already New York’s Finest, even finer.

Sure doesn’t sound like a “useless smartphone,” does it?

Jessica Tisch
Deputy Commissioner, Information Technology