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NYPD and Defense Department Testing Gun Scan Technology

NYPD/ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Law enforcement in New York may soon be able to detect guns without a physical search.

"We want to use new technology to protect the public and police officers from illegal guns.  In partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office, we’re working to develop a tool capable of detecting concealed firearms," NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Tuesday.

The NYPD is testing a new device that uses a kind of natural radiation emitted from the body to determine whether a suspect is carrying a concealed handgun.  Such energy cannot pass through metal so the sensor could give officers an outline of where the gun has been tucked.  

So far the technology only works at close range, but police in New York and the Department of Defense are hoping to make it work from 80 feet away so they could scan an entire scene for weapons -- a new tool to fight what the police commissioner says are still too many shootings.

"The development work is moving forward and we hope to utilize the sensor as soon as it meets our requirements," Kelly said, adding, "Of course, we aren’t relying on technology alone to achieve our vision of the future.  We’re also conducting a top to bottom review of the department to identify where we can improve in the next decade."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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