Smart idea: New York City to beef up Midtown surveillance

Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

New York City is going to spend $24 million in Homeland Security grants toward wiring up Midtown Manhattan with video cameras for surveillance.

The aim is to create an "extensive network of security cameras, license plate readers and weapons sensors" in Midtown just like the surveillance systems found in Lower Manhattan.

The Midtown Manhattan Security Initiative will add more cameras and license plat readers between 30th and 60th Streets between the Hudson and East Rivers. The Lower Manhattan Security Initiative, which covers Canal Street and Battery Park from river to river and includes the financial district, Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.

According to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly this beefed up network will funnel into the Manhattan Security Coordination Center, which monitors incoming data.

In a statement, Bloomberg said:

"Protecting potential targets is part of the comprehensive strategy we've pursued over the past seven and a half years to defend our City. We devote 1,000 police officers to counter terrorism duties every day, and with a combination of high-tech intelligence and old-fashioned policing we are doing everything in our power to keep our City safe from terrorist threats."

The Midtown monitoring effort, like the one in the Lower Manhattan, puts the NYPD together with private companies from various industries in one place to monitor incoming data.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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