New York Mayor Eric Adams Rolls Out NYPD Robots

New York City Mayor Eric Adams and the NYPD recently rolled out the Digidog, a $74,000 robot that has canine features. Curiously, this program was rolled out previously but was halted by Adams’ predecessor Bill de Blasio. In addition, they announced the unveiling of two other technologies they asserted would assist with public safety.

Digidog was first introduced in 2021 and features a communications system, cameras, and lights.

It was pulled back after civil rights activists claimed it promoted  aggressive policing.

“A few loud people were opposed to it and we took a step back. That is not how I operate,” Mayor Adams declared during a press conference . “We are scanning the globe to find technology that will assure this city is safe.”

Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell praised the Digidog technology as a  sign of NYPD’s commitment to using technology to “safeguard a modern city,” calling attention to how New York was one of the first cities to enact the 911 emergency call system and to use mugshots and fingerprints.

“The use of these technologies will be transparent, consistent and always done in collaboration with the people that we serve,” Sewell declared.

He also announced that the NYPD would be launching two other technologies, the StarChase GPS system and K5 Autonomous Security Robot.

The StarChase system features a GPS tag that can be slapped on a fleeing vehicle. The tag assists in the tracking of the vehicle remotely, and aids law enforcement when it comes to high-risk vehicle pursuits in high density areas.

The K5 robot, which is equipped with several sensors and cameras, will be used to patrol Times Square and the Times Square subway station during the summer of 2023.

“This K5 robot provides real time situational awareness and actionable intelligence to first responders and also provides a physical crime deterrence,” stated Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey.

Sewell continued: “We want the public to know that the use of these technologies will be transparent, consistent, and always done in collaboration with the people that we serve. And as with every NYPD initiative, we will continuously evaluate their use and impact on our city. Our job is to fight crime and keep people safe. And these tools are significant steps forward in that vital mission.”

Such technology should be viewed with great skepticism. While law enforcement should have the latest technological advancements at their disposal to do their jobs, the populace should still view governments’ embrace of technology with skepticism since this could potentially enhance the state’s ability to tyrannize the population. 

For that reason, such mergers of technology and government power should be viewed with a skeptical eye.

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