NYPD to issue Windows Phones to 36,000 officers

New York Police Department (NYPD) plans to roll out Microsoft's Window Phone platform to all 36,000 of its officers, after praising the operating system for modernising law enforcement.

The phones are part of the force's wider IT strategy to modernise its policing tools, and the devices, which come pre-loaded with special crime-fighting apps, will be issued by the end of the month, NY1 reported.

"It is clear that these department smartphones represent the single largest transformation in emergency communications in over a half of century for sure," said Jessica Tisch, NYPD's deputy commissioner for information technology, told the publication.

More than 25,000 NYPD officers are currently using the phones, and parts of the NYPD have used them since late 2014. The devices replace old technology like walkie-talkies and written warrants with their custom-designed apps.

NYPD officers can receive 911 emergency calls on the Windows Phones, view reports of disturbances through the "shot-spotter system" and be issued with digital warrants, enabling them to search buildings more quickly.

The NYPD's use technology is set to continue, according to police commissioner Bill Bratton.

"We've already begun to look at using FaceTime and Skype on these devices so the officers may never need to have to go to traffic court or summonses court," Bratton said.

FaceTime is exclusive to iOS, so either the force is also using iPhones or the commissioner mistakenly used this trademarked name to mean a general video messaging service.

The NYPD's use of Windows Phone comes after analysts predicted the death of the operating system, whose market share has shrunk in recent years.