01/17/2012 03:13 pm ET Updated Jan 18, 2012

NYPD Developing Radiation Technology To Scan For Guns

The NYPD is testing a new technology designed to detect individuals carrying guns underneath their clothing.

Similar to infrared imaging, the technology scans for a "form of radiation emitted from the body," a radiation that is unable to permeate through metal, thus allowing the mechanism to pick up on guns from the images produced.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced the development during his annual State of the NYPD address Tuesday morning as one of the department's initiatives to curb gun violence in the city.

Kelly said the technology would be mounted on top of NYPD vehicles and is being designed with the help of the federal Department of Defense. But at its current stage in development, the scanner could only be used for a 3 to 4 feet range. He said he hoped to ultimately achieve a detection distance of 25 feet.

With the production of such technology, it remains to be seen if the controversial stop-and-frisk practice currently used by the department will end. The practice, which saw a 13 percent increase in 2011, has come under fire from civil liberty groups claiming stop-and-frisks unfairly discriminate against blacks and latinos. The NYCLU has stated that nine out of ten individuals who have been stop-and-frisked are found innocent.

Kelly has repeatedly defended the practice as a necessary tactic to fight crime and has said it "is a proven law enforcement tactic to fight and deter crime, one that is authorized by criminal procedure law."

In October, activist Cornel West was among the many arrested at a stop-and-frisk protest in Harlem. Watch the video below: