New York (NY) has awarded U.S. defense contractor Northrop Grumman a $500 million (euro393 million) contract to build a wireless network that will allow police and firefighters to plug into city computer systems, even when they are rushing to emergencies.
The system will give police and fire battalion commanders in the field the same easy access to pictures, data and video that people have become accustomed to on their home computers. New York's system will be for government use only and will come with some of the high-grade security protections that Northrop offers military clients. Police hunting for a suspect would be able to download a mug shot or view a surveillance video. Fire chiefs might use the system to map the location of each unit or see around a wall of smoke and flames by getting live aerial footage of a burning building, beamed in from a hovering helicopter. The network is expected to be operational by spring 2008.