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NYPD Testing Body-Energy Tech That Detects Concealed Weapons

Image from a recent test conducted with an officer carrying a hidden handgun.(credit: NYPD)

Image from a recent test conducted with an officer carrying a hidden handgun.(credit: NYPD)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – New York City has another weapon in the fight to get guns off the streets.

Police are testing a technology that reads body energy to find out whether someone is concealing a weapon.

“We’ve had very, very few incidents on the streets of this city involving assault weapons, it’s handguns; handguns are the major problem,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. “It’s going to be an ongoing problem for a long time to come.”

The device, which resembles body scanners used at airports, reads terahertz — a specific form of natural energy emitted by people and objects.

“If something is obstructing the flow of that radiation, for example a weapon, the device will highlight that object,” Kelly said.

The tests are preliminary and officers aren’t getting the device any time soon.

Kelly said they’re working to make it portable and have experimented with mounting the device in a truck.

“We still have a number of trials to run before we can determine how best to deploy this technology,” Kelly said.

As for the cost, the city is not laying out the cash to test the new technology.

“The tab is being picked up by the Defense Department for us. These things are multi-million dollar projects in development. How much the final device might cost, that’s unknown. But right now, that’s being absorbed by the federal government on our behalf,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne told WCBS 880.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)