NYPD Radiation Scanners Also Detect Concealed Weapons

NYPD Radiation Scanners Also Detect Concealed Weapons

High-tech device sees through clothes to highlight guns.

Yi Chen
  • 28 january 2013

To tackle the problem of illegal handguns, the NYPD has began testing new technology that uses radiation to reveal a concealed weapon from a few meters away. The scanner can detect gun carried by criminals without having to use the pat-down procedure.

The machine is able to read terahertz, which the natural energy emitted by people and inanimate objects. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly explained that, “If something is obstructing the flow of that radiation, for example a weapon, the device will highlight that object.”


The real-time video image is able to clearly highlight a gun, even if it’s underneath layers of clothes. The NYPD hopes to put the device into use and have it placed in police vehicles or stationary on a street corner.


Kelly commented that, “We still have a number of trials to run before we can determine how best to deploy this technology. We’re also talking to our legal staff about this. But we’re very pleased with the progress we’ve made over the past year.”



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