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NYPD Developing Portable Body Scanner For Detecting Guns 575

Zothecula writes "You have to feel sorry for the police officers who are required to frisk people for guns or knives — after all, if someone who doesn't want to be arrested is carrying a lethal weapon, the last thing most of us would want to do is get close enough to that person to touch them. That's why the New York Police Department teamed up with the United States Department of Defense three years ago, and began developing a portable scanner that can remotely detect the presence of a gun on a person's body. The NYPD announced the project this week."
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NYPD Developing Portable Body Scanner For Detecting Guns

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  • by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @02:11PM (#38750358) Homepage

    Unfortunately, it's a bit more complicated that that. I live in fairly rural Alaska, people have guns all of the time. It's not all that uncommon to see a couple of guys walking down the main road, rifles in hand, going off deer hunting. If we go out into the backwoods, I typically carry a 12 gauge for bear defense (first rounds are the shotgun equivalent of an M-80, designed to scare the bear off). I don't carry a pistol around because there is really no need to - the human animals are fairly tame compared to the batshit insanity found in a bigger city.

    But in the batshit insanity of a big city, feral humans are a big problem. Especially if you are law enforcement. It's useful to know that the hophead idiot wired up on six different drugs has a pistol (although those people tend to remind me of the scene in '5th Element' where Bruce Willis disarms the guy). It's useful to know that the stoner is unarmed.

    If you are carrying a gun and a policeman stops you, you'd best put your hands where they can see them and tell them slowly and carefully that you're armed. Be professional. It saves lives.

  • by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @02:20PM (#38750536) Homepage Journal

    Your new cancer and lack of presumed innocence are a small price to pay, in order to defeat statistically non-existant terrorists.

    Police Commissioner Kelly said the scanner would only be used in reasonably suspicious circumstances and could cut down on the number of stop-and-frisks on the street.

    But the New York Civil Liberties Union is raising a red flag.
    "It's worrisome. It implicates privacy, the right to walk down the street without being subjected to a virtual pat-down by the Police Department when you're doing nothing wrong," the NYCLU's Donna Lieberman said. []

    After years of rebuffing health concerns over airport scanners, the Transportation Security Administration plans to conduct new tests on the potential radiation exposure from the machines at more than 100 airports nationwide.

    But the TSA does not plan to retest the machines or passengers. Instead, the agency plans to test its airport security officers to see if they are being exposed to dangerous levels of radiation while working with the scanners.,0,7082529.story []

    "Society will pay a huge price in cancer because of this," John Sedat, professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California at San Francisco, told CNET. Sedat has raised concerns about the health risks of X-ray scanners, and the European Commission in November prohibited their use in European airports. []

  • by Beardo the Bearded ( 321478 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @02:27PM (#38750694)

    TERRORISTS, you America-hating asshole.

    I mean, fuck, if everyone on the planes had a handgun, 9/11 wouldn't have happened.

    There'd be no TSA. No PATRIOT act. No erosion of the constitution by paranoiacs or despots cashing in on fear.

    No Americans would have died in Iraq or Afghanistan. Take another trillion dollars off the debt.

    Mythbusters showed -- despite what the movies love to show -- a plane won't go into explosive decompression via a bullet hole.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 19, 2012 @02:35PM (#38750820)

    Metal detectors have ALWAYS worked to find guns. The new invasive search procedures the TSA has introduced are not needed at all.

  • performance and cost (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jimktrains ( 838227 ) * on Thursday January 19, 2012 @03:57PM (#38752124) Homepage

    I wonder if this is just as effective as the scanners in the airport, and what the cost difference is.

  • by MarkvW ( 1037596 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @04:33PM (#38752544)

    Sure it will be abused. What about the flipside, though? If the scanner is reliable, the cop won't be able to do a Terry patdown search because its no longer reasonable (because the cop can use the less intrusive scanner). So much for the patdown yielding drugs cases . . ..
    Something to think about.

  • by citylivin ( 1250770 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @04:41PM (#38752636)

    My guns and knives may not the be the safest things I own, but they're far from the most dangerous thing I'm around regularly.

    All the things you listed are tools with their primary use being legitimate. A circular saw, can be used to cut up bodies, but it is primarily used for sawing wood. Same deal with a car. A gun however is designed to shoot out small metal bits which rip through soft tissues. This is the primary use for firearms. To hurt or kill living tissues - humans or animals. Of course if you live in the country, it is legitimate use to carry a gun for protection from bears and the like. In the city though? You are pushing it to say that there is a legitimate defence based use for any firearms.

    Here in canada guns are mostly not used in violent crime, unless there are gangs involved. I personally have been held up at gunpoint once about 10 years ago, but if I had a gun of my own, what could I have done? Got into a shooting match like counterstrike? Much more likely I would be dead now, rather than just missing 40$ from my wallet and a cel phone.

    That all said, if I lived in america, I probably would own a gun. Because people down there are fearful and violent. Its kind of like somalia or Afghanistan. There are valid countries for sure where carrying a firearm is necessary. I think the USA might be one of them, but thats more of a cultural problem. I can't say for sure that it is because of the easy availability of guns that causes it, but it does seem likely.

User hostile.