The New York City Police Department has transformed its anti-terrorist network, making the city the envy of all others, McClatchy Newspapers reports. “The NYPD has been doing very sophisticated, very creative things,” said Brian Michael Jenkins of the RAND Corp.. He labeled many of the city’s initiatives as “best practices” adopted from law-enforcement agencies worldwide.
Describing one antiterror operation, McClatchy says an inspector sent 100 squad cars – lights flashing – from 42nd Street to scores of locations across the city, including the U.N., the 102-story Empire State Building, and the Lebanese consulate. The “surge” is aimed at driving off terrorists who might be eyeing potential targets. It was just one part of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s multilayered effort that capitalizes on the eyes and ears of a 37,000-member force, 25 heavily armed harbor patrol boats, seven helicopters with zoom and infrared cameras, 275 interpreters, intelligence analysts and a $200 million budget. Kelly “has a unique force” and “can do a lot with those numbers,” said Michael Rolince, a former FBI international counterterrorism chief. New York’s counterterrorism program is acclaimed as a national model, despite its daunting task of shielding masses of people, Wall Street, six bridges, four tunnels, 600 subway miles, and two major airports from bombs and chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attacks.