NYC unveils subway gun scanners in subways after violent week of crime

After a week of several high-profile violent attacks inside New York City's subway system, the city announced its gun scanner pilot program. 

NYC Mayor Eric Adams and NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban detailed their plan to implement gun detectors underground. 

"There's no place for guns and weapons on our transit systems," Adams said. 

Adams said the weapon detection program will roll out in late June after the 90-day waiting period (The POST Act) ends. 

The first 45 days will be used for community feedback. The last 45 days the city says will be used to make any suggested changes to the program. 

The mayor also announced the implementation of SCOUT clinicians to act as mental health liaisons within the subway system in order to prevent crimes. 

As far as when and where these systems would be deployed, the mayor said they would refer to subway crime statistics to determine which stations to put them.

"We're going to start out with a few," Adam said. 

When it comes to funding, the mayor said the city would eventually look to the federal government for funding. 

Many have voiced concerns over privacy, but the mayor says the scanner will not use facial recognition technology.  

"We understand New Yorkers value their privacy, we understand that we must be transparent on how this technology is used, and we're going to do that," Adams said. 

How do the gun detectors work?

Evolv gun detectors has declined an interview with FOX 5 NY, but gave information on a handout video of the "Express" devices used in Georgia — inside the entrance to the Georgia Aquarium and outside the entrances to Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 

Evolv claims that if no one is carrying anything suspicious — for example, a pressure cooker or a firearm or a part of a firearm — then it won't go off. 

If the device detects something, a red light appears and a sound plays. 

The technology would require an operator monitoring that tablet, then presumably someone would have to approach the person in question before they could get to a train.

The company also claims the device does not flag everyday metallic objects.

Concern for gun detectors in subways 

Some civil liberties advocates have raised concerns over the use of these systems. 

For example, prior to the announcement, the mayor's office wouldn't say if facial recognition technology is a component they're trying to include or not. 

That type of artificial intelligence has come under widespread criticism from privacy advocates. There are also concerns surrounding wrongful identification.

It is also unclear how staffing would work for the technology or how much money this all might cost.