New York Has Everything

Ever been to New York City? They have everything there. It’s a city that never sleeps and, because of that, there are problems 24/7. Never mind all that, New York is an awesome city fighting on the front lines of terrorism.

New York law enforcement and security officials recently broke up an alleged terror plot, and to increase their battle against terrorists, more cameras will be installed in midtown Manhattan. Even better, the city is installing license plate readers and weapons sensors.

City officials received about $24 million in Department of Homeland Security money and are expected to boost similar efforts already underway in lower Manhattan where cameras eyeball the Federal Reserve, New York Stock Exchange and Brooklyn Bridge.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the goal is to detect terrorism threats and deter pre-operational surveillance.

Critics question whether more cameras can deter terrorism, and the sensors are bound to give off “false positives.”

Civil right groups, we couldn’t live without their input, clamor over another encroachment of civil liberties. New York Civil Liberties Union officials question whether or not this isn’t some big surveillance system.

Look, the bottom line is this. No one wants sensors that give off false positives and that can be overcome. A person’s civil liberties shouldn't be encroached upon, so don’t do silly things that will bring attention to yourself. Do what is right and law abiding.

We already know the outcome of doing nothing, and law enforcement agencies failure to communicate. The city already has 1,000 officers involved in anti-terrorism work on a daily basis. It’s a good idea to give them another reliable source of information and the ability to track suspicious characters. What does the average citizen want? Critics and the NYCLU probably don’t ask the average citizen, and city hall probably doesn’t ask either. The fact is NYPD has a role and responsibility to fulfill. Giving them more cameras is a good idea. Surveillance is one ingredient that gives terrorists more opportunity to makes mistakes and be discovered, and cameras create the possibility for prevention of an attack.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.

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