The NYPD has 82 cameras in and around Times Square and was still poring through them yesterday. After reviewing footage from 30 cameras Sunday, police found just three with leads for Saturday’s would-be car bomber.
With scant images of the Nissan Pathfinder’s driver, Mayor Michael Bloomberg yesterday renewed his push for the Midtown Manhattan Security Initiative, a network of public and private security cameras to blanket 30th to 60th streets, river to river. The expansion of Lower Manhattan’s “Ring of Steel,” has come under fire from civil liberties advocates.
“That will greatly enhance our ability and the ability of the police to detect suspicious activity in real time and disrupt possible attacks,” Bloomberg said. “It will also give police more evidence more quickly concerning incidents.”
Yesterday, police went to stores and banks to check their cameras and even called on tourists to come forward with potentially relevant footage, as a Pennsylvania resident did.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Sunday that a surveillance system would have analytic software that could detect such suspicious behavior as a bag left unattended or a vehicle cruising many times around the same block. “It has a lot of promise in that regard,” he said.
However, the MTA’s $215 million contract with Lockheed Martin for a surveillance system to detect abandoned objects failed to work when bags were positioned among hundreds of moving forms, WNYC reported last month.