Exclusive: Elaborate New York City Post-9/11 Security
Surveillance Cameras (file / credit: Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
NEW YORK (CBS 2)— The latest terror threat has come out just as a brand new CBS/New York Times poll shows 1 out of 3 New Yorkers still thinks about the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks at least once a week.
CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer has an exclusive look at the city’s post-9/11 security.
There are radiation detection boats in the waters, cameras that have been placed all over lower and Midtown Manhattan and there are cops with guns and tanks and all kinds of weapons, because in New York a terror attack could come from anywhere, and anyone.
“There’s no shortage of people who are willing to give up their lives for the cause,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
It’s been 10 years but our concerns about terrorism are still staggering and constant. Even the death of Osama bin Laden didn’t lessen the fear.
Two thirds of Americans, 67 percent in a stunning CBS/New York Times poll say killing the al Qaeda mastermind didn’t make them feel safer.
But that’s not all. A majority – 57 percent — say subway security measures are insufficient.
And as for other potential terror targets:
* Only 27 percent say airports are a lot safer
* Only 20 percent say bridges and tunnels are safer
* And just 14 percent say area nuclear plants are safer
Kramer sat down with Commissioner Kelly for a rare and candid talk about terror. Some of the arrows in his anti-terror quiver are pretty amazing and newly revealed.
For openers, he has his own navy.
“We actually have the ability to have a small submarine, not manned, to check the part of the boats that are submerged,” Kelly said.
“We have a new boat on order. We envision a situation where we may have to get to an island or across water quickly, so we’re able to transport our heavy weapons officers rapidly.”
Kelly also has his own army — 1,000 anti-terror cops with tanks and weapons, carved out of the NYPD after 9/11.
“We have to do things differently. We know that this is where terrorists want to come,” Kelly said.
But in the city’s war on terror it’s often about what you don’t see. You do see the cops and the weapons and the bomb dogs. You don’t see the legion of bi-lingual undercover officers and analysts. You also don’t see much of the intricate web of surveillance cameras the commissioner continues to build.
“Now you’re going to see a fairly rapid increase in the number of cameras,” Kelly said.
Much of the information streams into a high-tech center in lower Manhattan where analysts evaluate it in real time, 24/7.
The security comes at a mind-boggling price.
“Probably 9/11 has cost us at least a trillion dollars as a country,” Kelly said.
Despite the budget crisis, Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he’s committed to fighting terror.
The police commissioner said the money and effort being spent to protect New York City is a “clear message” to terrorists to stay away.