Detroit Free Press
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The setting could pass for a high-tech trading floor: men in dark suits, sitting at tiered banks of desks, studying a steady stream of video and data on floor-to-ceiling monitors.
But the front doors to the 28th-floor office near Wall Street are unmarked, and the men aren’t fixated on stock market fluctuations. The stakes in their line of business, they say, are much higher.
The tenants — counterterrorism officers with the New York Police Department — have transformed the space into the new nerve center for an ambitious plan to protect lower Manhattan from terrorist threats. The center began operating earlier this month, the first phase of a $100-million project sparked by the Sept. 11, 2001, attack that destroyed the World Trade Center.
The project will rely largely on 3,000 closed-circuit security cameras covering about 1.7 square miles in and around the financial district. So far, about 150 cameras are in place, with 250 more coming on line by the end of the year and the rest by 2011.
The program was modeled in part after the so-called ring of steel surveillance measures in London’s financial district. But police officials in New York said it will exceed that effort in scope and sophistication.
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“I believe we’ll have the safest business district in the world,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said during a recent visit to the command center, situated in an office tower that is also home to brokerage, research and insurance firms.
A reporter was allowed into the nerve center on the condition he not disclose its exact location.
This article was posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 10:37 am