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NY, Microsoft Join to Develop Enhanced Surveillance System

The Domain Awareness System is designed to provide a comprehensive view of potential threats and criminal activity

New York has engaged Microsoft Corp. to help develop the latest crime prevention and counterterrorism technology capabilities—including video systems—for use by law enforcement, public safety and intelligence agencies, according to city and company officials.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, I, and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly announced the partnership with Microsoft which is to develop the “Domain Awareness System” (DAS), a sophisticated law enforcement technology solution that aggregates and analyzes public safety data in real time for the New York Police Department. The DAS is designed to provide NYPD investigators and analysts with a comprehensive view of potential threats and criminal activity, Microsoft says.

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 company says. The result is a solution that is uniquely tailored to meet the specific needs of its users, according to the company.

Under the system analysts would be notified of suspicious packages and vehicles enabling NYPD personnel to react by actively searching for suspects using advanced technologies such as closed circuit television systems, smart cameras and license plate readers, according to Microsoft.

“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.

“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,” Bloomberg said. The DAS “will help the NYPD do more to prevent crimes from occurring and help them respond to crimes even more effectively.

In addition, 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, according to Bloomberg. As part of the agreement, the NYPD will receive 30 percent of revenue from the sales of the DAS system to other customers worldwide.

“Microsoft is honored to partner with the NYPD to provide these important public safety capabilities to other jurisdictions,” said Kathleen Hogan, Microsoft Services’ corporate vice president. “The NYPD is a respected leader and is continually innovating to help ensure the safety of New York’s citizens. It is a privilege to support its work with our technology and professional services,” she said.