The NYPD says it is testing a new device that would allow officers to detect if citizens are carrying a weapon without having to pat them down.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Wednesday the device, which resembles body scanners used at airports, reads body energy to find out whether someone is concealing a weapon.
The Wall Street Journal reports the device, known as a "T-Ray Machine" reads terahertz radiation, which is natural energy emitted by humans and inanimate objects.The radiation can penetrate many objects, including clothing.
"If something is obstructing the flow of that radiation, for example a weapon, the device will highlight that object," Kelly said in a speech at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
Kelly showed an image in which the T-Ray scanner highlighted the body of an officer in street clothes, with the outline of gun clearly visible.
Critics say the machine could be an invasion of privacy, and it risks an ordinary object on a citizen being misread by police as a weapon.
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