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Turns Out Cops And Convicts Both Have To Type

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Remember the Selectric? AP photo. hide caption

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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is said to be baffled by why his police department is spending nearly $1 million on typewriters. We suspect many of his constituents are puzzled too.

But the big bucks the city spends on equipment that hasn't been of much use in most offices for many years isn't the only surprise in the New York Post's coverage of this story. There's also this:

Tech-savvy Bloomberg, who built his media empire by employing the newest and fastest equipment, should take a trip to the Moonachie, NJ, headquarters of Swintec.

The company has been supplying the city with the otherwise outmoded equipment for years, sales manager Ed Michaels said.

Aside from cops, the company also does a brisk business selling typewriters to prison inmates who are not allowed to have computers.

We added the bold for emphasis.

Sure enough, a trip to Swintec's website turns up this:

Our line of Swintec electronic typewriters, portable typewriters, Word Processors and now Clear Cabinet typewriters and Clear Cabinet Word Processors especially designed for use in Correctional Facilities have been playing a major role in Prisons throughout the US. These clear typewriters and Word Processors provide a solution for inmates as well as the facility in giving the inmate a tool to use to communicate while at the same time help eliminate a problem that faces prisons every day, contraband!

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