NYPD is now getting rid of 36,000 Windows phones

The New York Police Department is now getting rid of 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 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 Lumia 640 XL and the Lumia 830 running Windows. 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.”

Both of the NYPD phones Lumia 640 XL and the Lumia 830 run on the Windows 8.1 operating system, which Microsoft announced it would no longer support after July 11.

An NYPD spokesman said the department wouldn’t discuss the cellphone situation until Tisch returned from vacation Monday.