This week, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly announced that his officers will be using a new device to detect concealed weapons. The new device is a “TeraHertz Camera,” and will be outfitted to fit in the trunk of a police vehicle. These new high-tech devices will be set up in areas with the highest risk of recurring gun violence.
How does the TeraHertz Camera work?
It was discovered that people naturally emit electromagnetic radiation in the terahertz frequency. When viewing someone’s energy in this manner, they realized that they could also see the shapes that blocked the energy as well. This lead to the new scanning technique called, Terahertz imaging, used in the pharmaceutical, biomedical, security, materials characterization, and aerospace industries.
The TeraHertz Camera reads the energy of people and translates it to the screen. Anyone looking at the device at the time can tell the shape of a gun or knife being concealed under the clothing without actually touching the person. Moreover, the camera is designed to highlight the objects and has a fairly decent range as well.
Commissioner Kelly has been looking at this type of technology for over a year already. He has been working closely with contractors and London Police to deploy a device customized for the NYPD. The department’s lawyers have spent considerable time looking into the legality of the virtual frisk. The police department will begin testing on the streets and run many trials before deploying the devices for operational use.