Arms and Manhattan

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In late February, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly announced that the NYPD is seeking $700 million in future city budgets for counterterrorism gear. But judging from records of contracts recently awarded by city agencies, New York’s arms race has already begun:

BODY ORIFICE SECURITY SCANNER (B.O.S.S.)
$139,500

Department of Citywide Administrative Services,
December 18
Rikers officials claim that B.O.S.S. chairs—equipped with sensors that can search out hiding places for weapons, including the mouth and anus—have reduced in-jail gang violence by 90 percent. DCAS will not reveal the intended use for its new acquisition.

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE RESPONSE VEHICLE (TARV)
$130,748

New York Police Department, January 23
Designed to resemble a broadcast news remote van, TARVs are actually the next generation of undercover surveillance equipment. With an assist from the NYPD’s antenna on top of the Empire State Building, a roof-mounted camera can send footage of unwanted public activity to One Police Plaza from up to 300 miles away.

BIOJECTOR 2000
$684,000 (57 Biojectors @ $12,000 each)

DCAS, October 3
The Biojector 2000 is a state-of-the-art injection system that doesn’t require a needle. Equipped with a CO2 tank, it shoots medicine in such a highly pressurized stream that it enters the body through skin pores, making it one of the most effective mass inoculation systems on the planet.

HELICOPTER SECURITY SERVICE
$399,600

Department of Environmental Protection,
January 24
Heliworks, Inc., regularly patrols waterways and reservoirs for the city. Usually this service is only performed during the summer, but this time the choppers are mobilizing year-round to protect the water supply.

MOBILE FIREARMS TRAINING SYSTEM
$229,980

DCAS, January 14
This simulator-in-a-trailer features optional ShootBack Cannon, which allows an instructor to aim bursts of .68 caliber nylon “hostile fire” pellets back at trainees. The training system can also be adjusted to display NYC landmarks in digital video.

DISPOSABLE ROBOTS
$384,184

DCAS, February 19
Manufactured by a division of Grumman-Northrop in Oak Ridge, Tennessee—home of the Manhattan Project—Remotec robots are the Army’s choice for detonating unexploded bombs. The droids can be fitted with more than 170 attachments, including a water cannon and a “shotgun-type device,” and they can reach speeds of 30 mph.

UPGRADE OF HELIPORT AT ONE POLICE PLAZA
$187,750

NYPD, January 16
Citing security reasons, the NYPD will not discuss the purpose or nature of this work.

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