New York City Michael Bloomberg, in his State of the City address yesterday, outlined a number of IT-related initiatives. They include:

DNA: "In the year ahead, we'll use the latest technology to continue turning up the heat on criminals -- and, to more quickly exonerate the innocent. The single most powerful way to do both is through DNA analysis. Two years ago, we convinced the state Legislature to expand DNA testing to cover all convicted felons, and some misdemeanors. This year, we will urge Albany to follow the lead of the federal government -- and a growing number of European countries -- by taking DNA fingerprints from all those who are arrested. This would help keep the innocent out of jail and the guilty off our streets. In the months ahead, we will also challenge the private sector to speed up DNA fingerprinting so that when DNA is left behind, officers can identify suspects more quickly and avoid wrongful arrests. And to do this, we will establish a six-figure prize for anyone who can invent a device tailored to the NYPD that analyzes DNA right at the crime scene. It's just one more way we are trying to bring private sector innovation into the public sector." Other items:

  • Illegal Guns Microstamping: "We will also seek to follow Governor Schwarzenegger's lead in passing legislation that requires manufacturers to use microstamping technology, which helps police better connect crime scenes to guns. Criminals are hoping we don't pass it -- so what are we waiting for?"

  • Mental Health Records into Federal Background Check System: "The Virginia Tech murders showed what happens when state governments fail to share mental health records with the ATF. But Virginia was not alone. Right now, thousands of New York's mental health records are not in the federal background check system. So, this year, we will push for new State legislation requiring all state agencies to supply these records to federal authorities -- and I say: Let's get it done before the April 16th anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre and before another senseless tragedy takes place."

  • Firearms Evidence Database: "Two years ago, under Commissioner Kelly's leadership, the NYPD created a special Gun Suppression Squad to improve our anti-trafficking intelligence. Now, to take this work to the next level, we will begin creating a comprehensive database of firearms evidence -- something no other city in the country has. It will become the latest addition to our revolutionary Real Time Crime Center."


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Wayne Hanson  |  Senior Executive Editor, Center For Digital Government