2009-10-16 / Top Stories

$24 Million In Homeland Security Funding Announced

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today announced that the City will use approximately $24 million in Homeland Security grants to expand the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative to include Midtown Manhattan. The Lower Manhattan Security Initiative is an extensive network of security cameras, license plate readers, and weapons sensors knit together to detect terrorist threats and deter terrorist pre-operational surveillance. The announcement was made inside the Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center, where police and representatives from the private sector work together to monitor data that are collected.

"We are expanding our state-of-theart counter-terrorism coordination center to include Midtown Manhattan," said Mayor Bloomberg. "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 Lower Manhattan Security Initiative was designed to bring together the private and public sectors to protect the economic heart of the nation," Commissioner Kelly said. "The awarding of this grant enables us to begin extending its scope to a large swath of Midtown, where the same technologies and partnership at work in the Financial District will be brought to bear on interests and infrastructure there."

Conceived in 2005, the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative consists primarily of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, license plate readers, and chemical, biological, and radiological sensors with the goal of detecting terrorist threats and deterring preoperational surveillance. When fully operational, it will include data from several thousand cameras, a significant portion of which are provided by private companies in the finance, banking, commerce, transportation, and telecommunications industries. Plans for the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative also include traffic control systems to be used in the event of a threat or other emergency.

The Midtown Manhattan Security Initiative will add additional cameras and license plate readers installed at key locations between 30th and 60th Streets from river to river. It will also identify additional private organizations who will work alongside NYPD personnel in the Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center, where corporate and other security representatives from Lower Manhattan have been co-located with police since June 2009. The Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center is the central hub for both initiatives, where all the collected data are analyzed.

So far, the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative covers Canal Street to Battery Park from river to river, a 1.7 square mile area in which are located the New York Stock Exchange, Federal Reserve, Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, World Financial Centers, World Trade Center memorial site, PATH train and numerous major financial institutions.

To ensure that appropriate privacy protections exist, the NYPD has developed a first-of-its-kind privacy policy that provides for limited access and appropriate disposition of stored data. The policy is available online at www. nyc.gov.

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