Two transit cops were patrolling the subway in Manhattan Sunday when they spotted Nicholas Brent Gibson, a suspected serial killer, from a photo of him sent to their smartphones.
Gibson, a.k.a. Brent Savage, was wanted in Miami, where he allegedly killed a 77-year-old victim with a sword — and claimed to have murdered six other people, dating to 1999, when he was just 12.
Sgt. Roger Coleman and Officer Estefany Rosario grabbed the 32-year-old at the 14th Street stop on the L line, then hailed their iPhones, which “made all the difference” in the arrest.
“Before we got the phones, we would have seen a flyer at roll call, now we have images and important information at our fingertips in real time,” Coleman told The Post.
The department credits the smartphones — 39,000 of which the NYPD has issued since 2015 — and custom apps with a 50-second reduction in response times since 2015, when it took cops an average of 4 minutes and 59 seconds to get to a scene.
Cops are responding faster because they can view what a 911 caller is saying to a dispatcher instead of being told what was said afterward via radio, according to department brass.
“They get to read first-hand all of the information the call-taker is typing rather than relaying it over the radio,” said Jessica Tisch, who heads the NYPD’s Information Technology Bureau.
“Now when the 911 call-taker takes the information about the job, as soon as she enters it into the system, it also hits the cops’ phones in that precinct,” Tisch said.
Officers still rely on dispatch to send them to crime scenes, she said, but “often times, if you listen to the radio you will hear the officer’s response [to dispatch saying], ‘Oh yeah, I’m already rolling there.’ ”
The new technology is also challenging the bulky memo books cops use to track what they are told and how they respond. Officers in parts of Harlem, Brooklyn and Queens are using a new app that digitizes the NYPD’s “blue books” that officers use to log their every move.
“They can search their history easier, and they are not losing memo books,” said Tisch. “Five years ago your average police officer did not even have basic internet access.”
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