Volume 20 Issue 15 | August 24 -30, 2007
Downtown’s ‘ring of steel’

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told Downtown Express about the new surveillance cameras being put in Lower Manhattan in a move similar to London’s “Ring of Steel.”

“What it will consist of, will be a thousand cameras, over a hundred license plate readers and a coordination center where public and private stakeholders will get together and coordinate activity for the area,” Kelly said Aug. 8 at the opening of a new exhibit in the Police Museum at 100 Old Slip. “And, we’ll actually have physical barriers that, in extreme situations, can be used to close off Lower Manhattan.”

Downtown Express photo by Jefferson Siegel

Kelly said the city has received some federal and city funding to pay for the measures and hopes to get more federal funding. He also said members of the department have traveled to London to inspect their security efforts and the N.Y.P.D. has already begun purchasing some of the security items.

“It will provide a deployment of security in an area that is now, and will be to an even greater degree, the financial capital of the world,” Kelly added. “We’re going to have the Goldman Sachs tower, we’re going to have the Freedom Tower, we’re going to have three large office buildings on the World Trade Center site.” In addition, JPMorgan Chase plans to build its new headquarters at the Deutsche Bank site.

Downtown is also home to the New York and American stock exchanges, the Mercantile Exchange and the World Financial Center.

Asked about privacy concerns, Kelly replied, “Anything we do in the public domain doesn’t violate the constitution or any statutes….You have no expected right of privacy in a public setting. We’ll only have our cameras in public spaces.”

The new exhibit, “Policing A Changed City,” highlights the N.Y.P.D.’s post-9/11 efforts.

— Jefferson Siegel

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