Mayor Eric Adams is seeking the latest technology from around the world to make the NYPD the premier crime-fighting force in the country, including crime-fighting robots to patrol subway stations.
With their ability to speak, these automatons can communicate with people in need of assistance and with those who are committing crimes.
"Hello, Mayor Adams, we are here to get stuff done," one said.
Moreover, a system called StarChase prevents dangerous car chases by attaching a GPS tag, which can be launched from a hand-held launcher or mounted on a car.
A robotic device called Digidog is also being developed to help the NYPD investigate high-risk or hazardous incidents.
"We want the public to know that the use of these technologies will be transparent, consistent, and always done in collaboration with the people that we serve," NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said.
During the de Blasio administration, Sewell responded to intense community backlash when the NYPD used the futuristic Digidog for the first time. There have been some claims that the use of robotic dogs is a manifestation of overly aggressive police tactics used against poor communities.
"I believe that technology is here. We cannot be afraid of it, and as the commissioner stated, transparency is the key," Adams said.
The city's latest transition into the 21st century has been attacked by several groups, including Communities United for Police Reform, who said, "We need to invest in housing, education, mental health care and community programs that will keep us safe, not investment in new and expensive technologies to criminalize us further."
"If we we're not willing to move forward and use technology on how to properly keep cities safe, then you would not keep up with those who are doing harmful things to hurt New Yorkers," Adams said.
At its top speed, the Digidog is capable of moving at 3.5 mph and weighs 70 pounds. The Digidog is capable of two-way communication, can be equipped with a variety of detector equipment, and is ideal for hostage negotiations, barricaded individuals, and hazardous chemical/radiation zones. It's expected that they'll start deploying this summer.
In their statement, the NYPD insisted that Digidogs would never be armed or used for surveillance, but officials said they would be happy to explain the new technology to community leaders.
Does Mayor Adams truly believe that police-trained robots will provide a sense of safety for New York neighborhoods, especially those of color?
Source: CBS News