1. says

    I would not be suprised if it were found out that a large urban police department has possesion of two or three man-portable shoulder fired anti aircraft missiles. But they would be useful only in certain scenarios. For example: a highly credible threat report prompts the FAA to clear the skies of legit traffic. Then the police force could station small fast boats out on the waterways, with the missile and operator, on very short notice, to deal with at least a limited set of possible attack strageties, say, a hijacked turboprop comimg in low at the Statue Of Liberty, or, strongly suspected of carrying something that MUST be stopped, even at the risk of having the plane crash on land. It could all go very wrong of course….

  2. KEN says

    Don’t get me wrong, I would like NYC or any city for that matter to be safe and free from terror, but kinda creeps me out to know that big brother is watching every move. Like maybe someday we’ll feel imprisoned.It’s sad that 9/11 has made things this way. Freedom is becoming a thing of the past and pretty much everywhere is going to have a camera on every street corner just to keep people in check. Just blows my mind.

  3. The Iron Orchard says

    More shocking is the AP report on how the NYPD has been helping the CIA with domestic spying. Welcome to one more step in taking your democracy to a closed security state!

  4. ratbastard says

    Police in most major cities, even small towns, around the country, are now spending more time in ‘revenue enhancement’ than real policing, especially community policing. I don’t think there’s any substitute for police patrolling neighborhoods, getting to know merchants and people [bonding], and in a place like NYC [and where I live, Boston] GETTING OUT OF THE CRUISERS. walking around, biking, even horse-back. In densely populated environments especially, visible police presence deters crime, and makes people more comfortable. CCTV is fine [as long as we don’t reach 1984 stage, but this has already happened in some places], but those cameras don’t deter crime IMO. Most people who commit [for example] larcenies are 2 types: desperate for quick $ and part of a professional crew of thieves. Neither are deterred by cameras. Likewise, assaults mostly are spur of the moment things, personal beefs, people drunk/high and/or mentally unstable. Cameras don’t deter them.

    In my town, even in very densely populated neighborhoods, touristy areas, places where there’s constant activity, crowds, demonstrations, parades/festivals, etc., there’s very little police presence. Most of the time I only see cops doing paid, private details [and in Massachusetts police must be hired to do flagman work]. But there are cameras everywhere, and undercover police, especially on the subways. I don’t think you can substitute visible police presence with cameras. They do compliment each other though, and help in prosecutions.

    But we pale by comparison the England, where this surveillance is totally out of control.

  5. kodiak says

    not to mention that the police action towards the protesters on wall street is out of control. i’ve never seen police brutality like i’ve had in the past few years. i am starting to believe that the police believe new yorkers are all criminals waiting to happen, and there is a “revenue enhancement” policy in force that encourages disregard for what is legal or not, in the hopes that people will pay up fines, instead of going to court and having the case thrown out. this has been going on for some time. thank you ray kelly. google “tammany hall riot” on you tube, in which cops, responding to “reports” of a fight outside the bar, mace the inside of the club, beat with wooden sticks several people, close the block down, don’t allow residents access to their homes, etc. result: 30 lawsuits against the city. the same week, the news reported the city was paying huge out of court settlement costs.
    who’s in charge?

  6. ratbastard says

    And what’s up with all the fat cops and other fat municipal and government employees? I’ve noticed most by far of our transit workers here are overweight, many obese, especially managers and supervisors. No wonder they require big SUVs. Many cops and firemen are fat/obese. Why aren’t there standards? I suppose unions successfully fight these standards.This is one of the main reasons why disability and healthcare costs for police, firemen, transit workers is so high.

    I’ve also noticed an unusually large number of short [under 5′-8″-5′-10″] cops. I don’t get that either. There should be height requirements. I suppose unions successfully fight these standards also.

  7. ratbastard says


    Bingo. They hope and statistically know most people ‘pay up’. Companies engage in a variation of this when they make ‘errors’ in billing, tag on on excessive fees for this or that,etc. It’s deliberate. They know most people pay up, and they [the companies, corporations, banks,etc.] end up making a ton of $. And what happens if a state AG should decide to prosecute? They settle civilly for pennies on the dollar. Crime does pay.

  8. Fenrox says

    @O Herro,

    If you did it before, then they saw it and didn’t care. I will never be against total surveillance IF it is just used to stop violent crimes. If it isn’t allowed in prosecution (esp, petty things like that) then it isn’t a big deal.

  9. anon says

    As a practical matter, no they can’t. If there are 1000 surveillance officers in a city of 8 million people, then they can monitor each individual 1/8000th of the time or 11 secs a day, and only when they are in view of the camera (crime happens elsewhere too). With 10000 officers they could get to almost 2 minutes, which might be useful, but not enough to stop a truck bomber or other terrorist. However, it’s very good at spending money.

  10. says

    @ ANON: A good analysis, but, I do want to remind you that unlike just a few years ago, the actual threat probability recognition is being performed by some very powerful software and computers. It is these software based systems that move possible problems to the top of the pile and alert a human observer. They are considered artificial intelligence agents. They are probably upgraded frequently. Nonetheless, to some extent, it’s still a numbers game as you describe.

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