First Posted: 4/1/2009 3:27:41 PM | Last Updated: 5/8/2009 1:28:16 AM
The NYPD wants to expand its surveillance network of outdoor video cameras to include Midtown. The so-called "Ring of Steel" -- including 3,000 cameras, license plate readers and radiation sensors -- has already begun to be implemented in lower Manhattan. The data feed is monitored from a 24-hour coordination center on Broadway as part of the police department's counterterrorism plan.
Civil rights groups and other skeptics have expressed concerns that such widescale tracking goes too far in terms of intrusiveness on the privacy of law-abiding citizens. The intended expansion area would cover 34th Street to 59th Street, from the East River to the Hudson, at a projected cost of $58 million. Of this total, the NYPD is requesting $21 million in federal homeland security funds, and the city expects to learn in June whether it will receive the funding, according to WNYC.