As part of plans to begin monitoring of vehicle license plate numbers in Manhattan, the NYPD is proposing the installation of automatic pivoting gates capable of trapping suspicious vehicles.

3000 number recognition equipped cameras are slated for installation below Canal Street by the end of next year, regardless of approval for Mayor Bloomberg's Congestion Charging plan. The cameras will be capable of transmitting live data to headquarters and would issue an alert should a suspicious license number be captured on film. Gates located at key intersections could then block traffic, trapping the vehicle until police arrive on the scene.


Police Commissioner Ray Kelly claims the system will be used to combat terrorism, but the New York Civil Liberties Union sees things a bit differently. As quoted in the New York Times, Christopher Dunn, a lawyer for that organization said, ""This program marks a whole new level of police monitoring of New Yorkers and is being done without any public input, outside oversight, or privacy protections for the hundreds of thousands of people who will end up in N.Y.P.D. computers."

New York Plans Security Veil for Downtown [New York Times]

Photo credit: Limna

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