The NYPD and typewriters

July 13, 2009 3:02:54 PM PDT
Typewriters have gone the way of records and rotary dial phones. People rarely use them. So why, in this tough economy, is the NYPD spending thousands of dollars to buy new typewriters? The clicking keys and the unmistakable "ding" might take you back to the days of the good ol' typewriter, and you probably think few professionals are using them anymore.

But last year, the NYPD spent nearly $19,000 on typewriters.

"Why are they using any is the question you should ask," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. "And where do you find them?"

New York City has a contract to spend up to $1 million on typewriters over the next three years. But why?

Ed Michael works for Swintec, which sells the typewriters to the NYPD, the state and even the federal government. Corrections uses a clear model so inmates can't hide contraband when they write home. The NYPD uses the another model for carbon-copy forms to record stolen property or evidence.

So typewriters appear to be going strong.

They spell check, save text and cost less than many computers. Of course, the NYPD owns sophisticated crime fighting tools, and every criminal case lives in a database accessible to all 5,000 detectives, who each has his or her own computer. So while they continue to update, a few things are still works in progress.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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