The New York City Police Department’s intelligence and analytics unit is testing out Google Glass to determine if it’s a fit for investigating terrorists and helping cops catch criminals. According to VentureBeat, the department recently received several pairs of the glasses to beta-test.

Google spokesman told VentureBeat that the NYPD likely got their glasses through the Google Glass Explorer program, where people interested in buying them must apply, and then wait for their application to get accepted or denied. Those who get accepted must then play the $1,500 price tag to acquire them. 

The NYPD might take advantage of the wireless facial recognition software. Google Glass could help with matching suspects’ faces to information in numerous police databases and federal law enforcement agencies. For example, this would give investigators a way to see a suspect’s criminal record while interviewing them. Various liberty groups have spoken out against the department’s intended usage, as it could potentially violate the privacy rights of innocent citizens, while other law enforcement officials state that the glasses’ ability to “spy” on suspects is limited. However, the NYPD remains optimistic.

“We think it could help impact patrol operations in New York City,” one NYC law enforcement official told VentureBeat. “We shall see.”

[via Venture Beat]