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NY Investing $200M in 24-Hour Subway Surveillance Program

NY Investing $200M in 24-Hour Subway Surveillance Program

Source: Associated Press

New York Daily News via YellowBrix

September 21, 2010

NEW YORK CITY – Next time you swipe your MetroCard in Times Square, Penn Station or Grand Central Station, someone will be watching from 60 blocks away.

Video from those subway stations is now flowing into the city’s “Ring of Steel” security system that feeds images from lower Manhattan and midtown to police watching around the clock.

“This is a big step forward in the ability of the NYPD to monitor and disrupt terrorist threats against our city,” Mayor Bloomberg said in unveiling the new system.

The $200 million midtown surveillance program has 700 cameras that can be monitored and controlled from a command center near Wall St. – part of what will become a 3,000-camera network of eyes in the sky from 30th to 60th Sts., river to river.

“They can zoom in on individual images and control the angle of cameras remotely,” said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. “If we’re looking for a person in a red jacket, we can call up all the red jacket footage in the last 30 days.”

Police are also beginning to use software that will sound an alarm when cameras pick up things like unattended bags, cars being driven the wrong way or people entering restricted areas, Kelly said.

Cameras, license plate recorders and radiation detectors have already been installed in the Financial District and throughout lower Manhattan.

MTA Chairman Jay Walder said plans are in the works to link cameras in the Chambers St. subway station to the NYPD system – as well as in “other key stations.”

There’s no plan, however, to link all of the MTA’s cameras to the police nerve center, Walder said.

After years of delay installing cameras in subways, Walder said all stations will have functioning cameras by next year.

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