CBS 2 Surveys Nerve Center Of Security System Designed To Keep NYC SafeBy Tony Aiello

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The so-called “ring of steel” is nearing completion in lower Manhattan. It’s a network of security measures intended to counter-terrorism and fight crime.

CBS 2’s Tony Aiello got a rare look inside the nerve center on Friday.

They are the sentinels of our high-tech age, monitoring the comings and goings of millions through a network of cameras across lower Manhattan. It’s all coordinated on the 28th floor of a building downtown.

“We know it’s a vulnerable area, obviously. We’ve had two attacks against the World Trade Center. We’ve had other plots against that area,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

Kelly said the obvious goal is to prevent another terror attack, but the cameras help with street crime, too, information gleaned at the nerve center has led to more than 100 arrests in the subway system alone.

Supplementing a set of eyes is a computer program that can analyze objects and report them as suspicious.

“Size, shape, objects, abandoned packages, movement, color, instead of watching the camera the camera will give us an alert on something suspicious that’s happening in the field,” said Inspector Sal DiPace of the NYPD’s Counterterrorism Bureau.

License plate readers and chemical and radiation detectors also send information to the nerve center.

The key to making the program work is cooperation between the NYPD, other public agencies and private property owners. Many of the cameras monitored here are owned by big landlords. The NYPD believes the value of all these eyes on the city outweighs any civil libertarian concerns about big brother.

“There’s very little opposition. People believe the world has changed as a result of September 11th,” Kelly said.

And by the 10th anniversary of the terror attack 3,000 cameras will be watching lower Manhattan.

In addition to all the surveillance technology there is an actual “ring of steel,” a series of road barriers that can be deployed to seal off lower Manhattan in event of an emergency.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

Tony Aiello

Comments (7)
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  2. David Coia says:

    The public officials responsible for implementing this type of civil surveillance should be required to have their names plainly and publicly displayed for all to see—here, in Washington, or in any city in which such a program is implemented. The extent to which they fear such exposure clearly illustrates the degree to which what they are doing is not only wrong, but un-American. And the extent to which Americans allow such surveillance is a testimony to abject cowardice and ignorance. Do you really bellyfeel crimethink? That’s where it’s all headed, isn’t it? The trend with these cameras is not about preventing terrorism, especially with officials and police hiding from US, the public they want us to believe they serve. Only an incredibly feeble mind would believe such a thing.

  3. AnnonUSA says:

    “There’s very little opposition. People believe the world has changed as a result of September 11th,” Kelly said.

    This is the most sad statement about the American People today. They are totally willing to give up liberty and freedoms for protection from fear. if We the People Should get any notions that we deserve privacy and freedoms, the Government will instill fear which they now know is the catalyst for the willing removal of our rights and freedoms.

  4. man from the old school says:

    these dumb bells forget they came by plane never set foot in ny this is nothing more then taking away what little rights wee have and some dumb judge will rubber stamp this as ok

    1. JFK says:

      This statement is completely untrue. They attacked by van in ’93, attacked by vehicular ambush in 2010 albeit unsuccessful. Dude, what world do you live in.
      And more.

  5. Bob Fowler says:

    Is everyone carefully watching how our liberties are being removed, and Big Brother is readying to take over. Of course it is for our own good, until we have been contained enough that dominating us will be the next step. Do any of you actually believe that we need to give up our freedoms to prevent the imminent attack? 3,000+ died on 9/11 so that 350,000,000 can be controlled.

    Thwarted plots, and captured terrorists have been growing, so that we can be kept scared, and willing to be protected. Do you think that your email, phone calls, text messaging…isn’t monitored, again, for our own protection? American jails are filled with free people (we are a free nation) who stay in cells. Aren’t they easier to control if kept in cells? We too will be easier to control, when we allow them to watch our every move, thought and intent.

    1. Meme Meyagi says:


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