Mayor Eric Adams tests subway weapons detection technology at City Hall

Clara D. Flaherty

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NEW YORK — With the epidemic of gun violence continuing unabated, Mayor Eric Adams is using the very seat of government, City Hall, to try out a high-tech weapons detection system he hopes to install in subways and schools.

CBS2’s Marcia Kramer got a firsthand look Thursday.

After that gunman shot up the Sunset Park subway, the mayor vowed to use every bit of new technology he could find to stop people from from carrying and using weapons. He is using City Hall as a guinea pig to test out a new system that looks like ones used at airports.

“This has been my history of using technology to keep New Yorkers safe,” Adams said.

READ MOREIn wake of Brooklyn mass shooting, Mayor Adams says NYC has been exploring technologies to keep people safe in subway system

The mayor was talking about the new age weapons detector Installed at the West Gate of City Hall as part of as pilot project to see if it makes sense to install at subway stations and in schools, where weapons are being found with frightening regularity.

“We’re still testing and kicking the tires of all of this new technology,” Adams said.

Kramer tried kicking the tires, herself. She walked between two innocuous looking scanners with a backpack.

And guess what? She set it off.

The device pinged. An orange box showed up on her backpack, alerting police exactly where to look for a potential weapon.

So why did Kramer, a woman who has never owned a gun in her life, set off the device? Well, it seems she had an iPad in her backpack and part of its case resembled the cylinder of a gun.

A police officer demonstrated what happens with someone carrying a real gun passes through the detector. The orange box popped up in the exact location of his weapon.

READ MOREGov. Kathy Hochul’s attempts to curb rise in domestic terrorism become political football in gubernatorial race

The pilot project comes as the number of weapons in schools continues to skyrocket. Officials told CBS2 that from Jan. 1 to the present 1,723 dangerous instruments, like knives, pepper spray, and boxcutters, have been confiscated at city schools. That number includes 280 actual weapons, including two 9mm handguns with fully loaded cartridges brought to York Early College Academy in South Jamaica, Queens, on Wednesday by a 15-year-old. Kramer showed the picture to Mayor Adams.

“I’m asking today for every parent is this city to sit down with their child and talk about gun violence. We need to get everyone engaged. This young man carrying these two — two — 9mms with full clips in a school in his knapsack. That should send chills down every parent, every parent. This is when I talk about using new technology to detect guns. This is when I talk about those who are pushing back against having school safety agents in school. It’s as though they are living in an alternate reality,” Adams said.

The mayor didn’t say whether other scanning systems will receive a tryout, but it’s clear that he believes new technology will help solve the city’s gun violence problem.

Officials say the next step is to evaluate the data from the pilot program before putting the devices in other places.

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