Update: The NYPD has issued a statement in which it says the phones were provided as part of a contract that allowed it to change devices after two years, and that it will begin the switch to iPhone in the fall. It claims that the phones were provided ‘at no cost’ but does not explain how they were paid for. 

The New York Police Department is being forced to scrap 36,000 Windows Phones bought just two years ago as part of a $160M mobility project. The move has been forced by Microsoft’s decision to cease support for the platform as of last month.

The NYPD now plans to replace the phones with iPhones by the end of the year, according to a report …

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The New York Post says that the project was designed to bring mobile technology to cops on the streets, improving response times.

[It gave] cops the ability to receive alerts, search law-enforcement databases, file reports and even watch in real time as 911 dispatchers type up emergency calls.

The paper says that the NYPD went ahead with the decision to buy two models of Lumia phones running Windows despite widespread criticism from the tech world. The models were the Lumia 640 XL and the Lumia 830.

The knives are already out, it seems.

Law-enforcement sources blamed the boondoggle on NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Information Technology Jessica Tisch, with one saying, “She drove the whole process.”

“Nobody purchases 36,000 phones based on the judgment of one person,” a source said. “I don’t care if you’re Jesus <expletive> Christ; you get a panel of experts.”

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton made it clear at the time the original decision was made that it was Tisch’s responsibility.

“She’s a terror if she doesn’t get her way, so I usually let her get her way,” Bratton had joked. “So she’s certainly getting her way with this technology.”

The NYPD said that it would be making a statement once Tisch returned from a vacation, later today. It’s not yet known which model iPhones will be chosen to replace the Lumia models.


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