New York City has 1,300 surveillance cameras operating around Manhattan more than doubling the 450 cameras the network had in June, and nearing the halfway point of its goal of 3,000 surveillance cameras in that area, police say.
The New York Police Department’s “Lower Manhattan Security Initiative” has been in the works for five years. Under the initiative, a web of cameras, license-plate readers and radiation detectors are to be deployed around the city.
Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said the cameras installed so far are about evenly divided between the original downtown area below Canal Street and Midtown from 30th to 60th streets. They include 586 subway cameras added last month in Times Square, Pennsylvania Station and Grand Central Terminal.
The system's projected cost has grown from $81.5 million in 2006 to $201 million, but about 90-percent of the cost is being funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Installation of the surveillance cameras, which officials expect to complete by 2013, has been hastened because of the plots to bomb Times Square, Kennedy airport and synagogues in the Bronx.
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Last fall, the city received as $24 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security to extend the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative to Midtown.