New York to spread surveillance blanket over Lower Manhattan
New York City will soon be taking strides towards emulating the vast surveillance network that currently monitors London. With both cities recognized as high-profile terrorist targets, it makes sense that comprehensive video surveillance installations would play a significant role in their security efforts. While London's expansive surveillance network has been criticized by some as a breach of privacy, it has helped to identify suspects involved in a number of terrorist plots including the London subway bombings in 2005 and last month's car bombings. The program proposed by New York's Lower Manhattan Security Initiative, when fully operational, will resemble the sweeping network of cameras and roadblocks which works to detect and track terrorist activity throughout London. It will be the first of its kind in the United States.
Phase one of the project includes over 100 cameras to monitor cars moving throughout Lower Manhattan. If the program is fully financed, that will only be the tip of the iceberg, as the city intends to install an additional 3000 public and private security cameras in the area below Canal Street. That area is considered an extremely important cog in the nation's economy, and clearly, its protection is a major concern. Two-thirds of the 3000 security cameras would be owned by downtown businesses, some of which are already in place and operational.
The new surveillance cameras will transmit video feeds instantly to a control center located in Lower Manhattan. The center will be staffed by Police and private security officers. The entire system is targeted to be fully operational by 2010.