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Back in October, 2014, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio and members of his administration announced a frivolous, $160 million plan to distribute smartphones to every active police officer in the NYPD, as well as to install a touchscreen tablet device into every patrol car. The initiative, de Blasio said at the time, “would help bring the department into the 21st century;” however it was a plan met with equal parts criticism and skepticism, each of which was fueled, all the more, when it was announced shortly thereafter that the department had chosen Windows Phones, of all devices, as their ‘go-to’. (Specifically, officers were able to choose between the Nokia Lumia 830 or 640 XL.)
The department’s decision to employ 36,000+ Windows Phones was an intriguing one, especially in light of other mobile operating systems like iOS and Android leading the way in terms of marketshare. Nevertheless, NYPD officials insisted, partially because they were “already using Microsoft software” to run video-surveillance systems at the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative Command Center, Microsoft smartphones were preferable to most members of the force.
According to an account published by The New York Post, the department also quipped that the price of the Windows Phones were much lower than iPhones, which played a factor in the final decision, too. However for the most part, department officials said, these devices are crucial tools by which members of the force can access NYPD databases while on the move, receive real-time 911 call data, and access a variety of other search capabilities — and so Windows Phone seemed like the better way to go.
Fortunately, (for members of the force, at least) just under a year or so after the program officially completed rolling out, NYPD officials have reportedly announced plans to begin replacing those old and discontinued Lumia devices with newer iPhone models. The complete replacement of all devices should take through the end of 2017, the report added, while stopping short of providing any detail into what model of iPhones will be offered.
The decision is likely to put New York City tax-payers and city council members on watch, especially since neither Windows Phones nor iPhones are considered “inexpensive.” However for the sake of the NYPD and its ability to conduct business as efficiently as possible, we must say: iPhones have always been a wise choice, guys.