Security network in the cards for Midtown Manhattan

 A high-tech security network is in the works for Midtown Manhattan that will utilize surveillance cameras, license plate readers and chemical sensors.

The New York Police Department will pattern the network after one currently under development in Lower Manhattan. The proposed Midtown network would use both public and private security cameras and license plate readers, making it possible to record and track every vehicle from river to river and from 34th to 59th Streets.

Additionally, the network will utilize chemical, biological and radiological sensors.

A $24 million Department of Homeland Security grant was secured last fall by the police department to begin building the network. Additionaly funds are being sought from the federal government by the police commissioner to complete the project.

Even if the network does not prevent an attack, Louis Anemone, a former New York Police Department official and former head of security for the Metropolitan Transportation Agency told the New York Times, “it helps to clearly identify the people involved and get good photos so officers can follow up.”

Privacy concerns have been raised about the network by the New York Civil Liberties Union, which sued the police department and the Department of Homeland Security for information about the networks and for waht duration surveillance images and data would be retained in its databases.