CCTV system with number-plate recognition planned for NY

The Police Department has been planning a high-tech security network for Midtown Manhattan involving surveillance cameras, license plate readers and chemical sensors, although it was not clear whether it could have prevented the attempted car bombing in Times Square on Saturday night the NY Times reports. The department secured a $24 million Department of Homeland Security grant last fall to begin building the network.

Eventually, police officials have said, the networks would be able to notice whether a car was circling any area suspiciously.The network could have been triggered via its chemical, biological and radiological sensors, presuming that the material in the vehicle, which is not yet fully analyzed, was detectable.

“There really isn’t a downside to it,” said Louis Anemone, a former official for the New York Police Department and former head of security for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. “Next time it may not get this far because of the technology.”

Even if it could not help prevent an attack, he said, “it helps to clearly identify the people involved and get good photos so officers can follow up.”

The New York Civil Liberties Union has raised privacy concerns about the networks, and has sued the Police Department and Department of Homeland Security for information about the networks and how long the surveillance images and data would be retained in their databases.

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2 Responses

  1. related: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/05/video-inside-new-york-spycam-hq/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    In this clip, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly takes CBS News inside the nerve center of the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative. The idea is to use video intelligence algorithms and an array of 3,000 cameras to spot terrorists before they strike in the financial district.

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