Published January 13, 2015
A plan to improve anti-terrorism security in New York City could mean that all vehicles entering Manhattan would be subject to a license plate photographing by the city’s police department, MyFOXNY.com reported Tuesday.
The NYPD hopes to have the plan — dubbed ‘Operation Sentinel’ — in place by 2010, according to The New York Times.
Under the current proposal, the city would spend millions on the overhaul, which would involve the creation of mobile teams of heavily armed officers and the installment of license plate readers, closed-circuit television cameras, radiation detectors at bridges and tunnels and explosive-trace detection systems, the Times reported.
All collected license plate information would be stored in a lower Manhattan facility for at least a month, according to MyFOXNY.com.
The cameras would be set up at seven major crossings, including the Holland and Lincoln tunnels, as well as the George Washington and Triborough bridges, WCBSTV.com reported.
The security measures would involve not only the Manhattan crossings but also the World Trade Center. Nearly 600 officers would be assigned to a special unit for the site.
According to the Times report, all delivery and service trucks destined for the Trade Center would be required to pass through an underground screening center.
In addition, about a dozen guard booths would be placed on street corners near areas of high pedestrian and vehicle traffic and — with the exception of specially-screened taxis, cars and limousines — no cars would be allowed past the five entry points to the site.
While the plan would undoubtedly make the area safer and help to prevent a third terrorist attack, some local residents and business owners are concerned about ‘Sentinel’s’ heavy restrictions.
“Of course this has to be done with an eye toward security,” Elizabeth H. Berger, president of the Alliance for Downtown New York, told the Times. “But that doesn’t mean checkpoints at every turn. It’s important that the office towers, the retail, the memorial and the performing arts center succeed.”
Members of The Partnership for New York City, a group that includes chief executives from the city’s largest employers, are scheduled meet with New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly on Sept. 8 to review the proposal.