NYPD To Set Up 24-Hour Surveillance Center Downtown Following London Model
October 5, 2007
A 24-hour command center will be soon be chosen for the ambitious plan to scrutinize almost every vehicle or person passing through the Financial District with security cameras and license plate readers, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Tuesday.
The hub of the city’s Lower Manhattan Security Initiative, based on London’s “ring of steel,” this new command center will be hidden from public view in an office building, away from the high profile locations it’s designed to monitor and protect, Kelly said.
“We are attempting to get a location that is indeed right in Lower Manhattan so that it’s easy for the private sector and public sector stakeholders to get there,” said Kelly. “We envision it being manned 24 hours a day and it will be where the cameras terminate for the most part, there will be camera monitoring conducted at the coordination center.”
A “redundant command center” located away from Lower Manhattan will also be part of the $90 million plan to upgrade security in the 1.7 miles from Canal Street to the Battery.
Kelly said there will be new security cameras at 17 downtown locations by year’s end with 1,000 in place when the program is fully operational by mid 2009. He said he expected major corporations to support the effort by sending personnel to the command center, which will be run by the NYPD. And he said he expects to “significantly increase” the number of police officers assigned to the area.
The police commissioner said the department is also trying to determine the type and placement of retractable street barricades, like several already in place by the New York Stock Exchange.
“Where we ultimately determine where they go will to a certain extent drive the type of barrier that we get,” he said.
Speaking at a forum hosted by the Economist magazine entitled “The Future of New York City as the World’s Business Hub,” Kelly said staying vigilant and increasing protection of the Financial District are critically important because “there is every indication that terrorism will be with us for a very long time to come.”