The Police Department’s effort to deploy a portable device that can detect concealed handguns on the street has moved to the testing of an actual model in New York City, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said Wednesday morning.
The device detects natural radiation emitted by people, and any object obstructing the flow of the radiation registers on an image produced by the device, Mr. Kelly said in his annual speech about the state of the Police Department.
“Over the past 12 months, we’ve been working with the vendor and the London Metropolitan Police to develop a tool that meets our requirements,” Mr. Kelly said. “We took delivery of it last week.”
In a recent test involving a plainclothes officer, Mr. Kelly said, the device produced a black image along the officer’s hip, where he was carrying a gun beneath a jersey. (The officer’s body appeared on the screen as bright green.)
“You get a sense of why we’re so hopeful about this tool,” Mr. Kelly said as he showed images of the test at a meeting of the New York City Police Foundation.
Mr. Kelly said the device, although large, can be mounted in the back of a truck. He first mentioned the possibility of such a device in a speech a year ago.
“We still have a number of trials to run before we can determine how best to deploy this technology,” Mr. Kelly said. “But we’re very pleased with the progress we’ve made over the past year.”