NYPD Defends Choosing Windows Phones, Confirms Plans to Switch to iPhones

The New York Police Department has confirmed it will begin transitioning to iPhones for its 36,000 police officers in the fall, less than one year after completing a rollout of Windows Phones to its police force.

Image: ABC7 Eyewitness News - WABC-TV New York

Jessica Tisch, the NYPD's Deputy Commissioner of Information Technology, said "improvements in Apple controls" will enable the department to "responsibly and cost effectively move its mobility initiative to the Apple platform."

When the NYPD chose Windows Phone devices in 2014, Tisch said "neither iOS nor Android phones allowed it to cost-effectively utilize prior investment in custom Windows applications" that it had deployed at the time.

"Moreover, we assessed that the Windows platform would be most effective at achieving our goal of securing 36,000 devices that would be used for sensitive law enforcement operations," added Tisch. "This was of paramount importance."

The NYPD said its contract provided for Nokia's Lumia smartphones at no cost. It also allowed for the department to replace the smartphones with devices of its choosing two years later, also at no cost.

As a result, the NYPD said its smartphone initiative is 45 percent under budget. Based on its current rate of spending, the department expects to stretch what was initially budgeted at two years of spending to more than four years.

Tisch said the NYPD's mobility initiative has made its police officers "smarter, faster, and more agile" in their response to 911 calls, with response times down more than 8 percent compared to an unspecified period.

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