NYPD defends their Windows Phones as effective and under budget, still replacing them

We reported yesterday that Deputy Commissioner of Information & Technology Jessica Tisch’s decision to go with Windows Phones were under attack after it was revealed that the NYPD was planning a wholesale switch to iPhones.

Now in a short column in NYPD News Tisch responded by defending her decision as appropriate for the time, and downplayed the impact of the decision to change platforms.

She noted that 3 years ago “neither iOS nor Android phones allowed us to cost-effectively utilize prior investment in custom Windows applications” and that they did not offer the ability to cost effectively secure 36,000 devices.

She also noted the devices were offered free of charge, and that after two years the organization could switch to any other device, also free of charge, much like a standard cell phone contract. She also noted that their smartphone initiative was 45% under budget, meaning their initial budget planned for 2 years would now last for 4. She said that the plans to switch to iOS started a year ago, following improvements to the OS which allowed improved manageability.

Crucially she also defended the current crops of Windows Phones as still effective at performing its assigned duties, saying:

This Sunday, while a Post reporter was writing her story, NYPD officers used their smartphones to help respond to over 25,000 911 calls; ran 18,000 searches; and viewed 1,080 flyers of missing or wanted persons. Sunday is a slow day.

The smartphones have made our cops smarter, faster, and more agile in their response to 911 calls, with response times down more than 8 percent. Whether it’s the parent whose child has gone missing, the driver who needs a copy of an accident report, or a domestic violence victim whose life may be saved by a faster emergency response, the smartphone program has made the NYPD, already New York’s Finest, even finer.

Sure doesn’t sound like a “useless smartphone,” does it?

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