Ray Kelly, the Police Commissioner has his own army in New York City, bigger than the FBI. I was a cop and taught in the Police Academy but no one’s career can compare to his in the area of police work. After 911, New York got a lot of money to use to improve security and they did, and thankfully, no incidents have happened in part due to the most sophisticated surveillance in the world used in New York now.
Recently we had the 10 year anniversary of the devastating attack on 9/11 and this past week N,Y, had the United Nations General Assembly meetings with 137 heads of states moving all over the city. How do you keep all these controversial leaders from all over the world safe? New York is congested enough. Why do we compound it with the United Nations there too. They should move that building to somewhere in the middle of a desert with great hotels and get them out of the way of New Yorkers. We got enough of problems.
No city at any time anywhere has a security challenge like that. Well, Ray Kelly has a reputation for getting things done. N.Y. is lucky to have him. He is 70 years old, fought with the Marines in Vietnam, joined the N.Y.C. Police Department as a Cadet and along the way picked up a Law Degree and a Masters Degree from Harvard. Ok I was a cadet and served 10 years as a transit Police Officer until I got hurt on the job chasing a suspect, I got the Law Degree and the Masters in Business while working as a cop. Only I didn’t go to Harvard and I’m too young to have served in Vietnam. I got the Serpico name. That should give me extra points. After all, Frank Serpico single handedly exposed one of the largest corruption groups in police history! Kelly has more points in this game than I sadly.
Now ten years after 9-11 with an investment of Billions of dollars, Kelly has created what he believes is the most powerful and technically advanced terrorism bureau that anyone has ever seen. By air, land and sea, the nation’s largest terrorism squad is on alert in N.Y. America’s largest city. One thousand officers many of them armed like soldiers are part of a presence that is meant to send a message to terrorists that N.Y is too tough a target anymore.
N.Y. is now the communications capitol and is still the financial capitol. The city has been attacked successfully twice in the past. There have been 13 terrorist plots against the city since 9-11. No other city has had that. Kelly left the force 4 months before the attack. The Mayor asked him back and now he is still here as Commissioner. He knew that N,Y, could not rely on assistance from the Federal Government alone. Their own security had to be formed.
Kelly has the green light to employ 35,000 uniformed Police Officers and 15,000 civilian employees. What security company has all that manpower of 50,000 people at its disposal? His police force is bigger than the FBI. He works in unison with the secret service. For example, when heads of states come to N.Y. as in the United Nations meeting, he has to know what threats have been made to each and every leader that visits here for their special protection.
He had snipers on the rooftops, divers in the Hudson River and helicopters circling above the United nations building and Obama driving around the city too. All this only 10 days after the 9-11 Memorial service went without any problems despite car bomb threats to the area. He protected 8 Million Americans on that day. How? He has a brand new joint operations center hidden somewhere with great surveillance watching every downtown street.
He can see everything from one room that has representatives from the military, the FBI, Federal Emergency Management and State and local first responders. The center is the work of 10 years and 3 billion dollars of work to pull things together in a crisis. Ten years ago, the firemen could not even talk to each other effectively. They mostly followed the smoke in the air. Then there wasn’t any military present in the air or on the ground immediately after the attack. Mostly dazed zombie like people covered in ash just moving about the city. It was a true American disaster from the stupid look on Bush’s face at story time in a school to the dazed devastation that the city instantly became.
Now, the N.Y. City Police Department has the equipment and the training to take down an aircraft. There is astounding surveillance technology that has been built specifically for the N.Y.C. Police Department needs. Out on the east river police boats have the technology to track nuclear heat that might be present in the cargo ships that port in N.Y. daily. There are radiation detectors circling the city in helicopters. Thousands of cops now have hand held nuclear detectors on their gun belts. The surveillance is so sensitive that people who have had medical radiation treatments trigger the detectors.
It is nearly impossible to walk anywhere in lower Manhattan without being on TV with 2,000 cameras everywhere, soon to come 3,000, all fed into a master computer hidden somewhere. It is a 150 Million Dollar surveillance system that no one else has yet, that monitors the radiation detectors and all those cameras. The smart computer knows if a package has been left unattended for al long time and will contact a officer to check out the situation. The system can also track a suspicious person based on a description. It will track all people with red coats on if they were reported suspicious.
The most important deterrent to terrorism is the people that are employed. His force speaks 60 languages and dialects. He has his own intelligence officers around the world in places like Abudabi, Jordan, Leon France where Interpol is located, Paris, Madrid, Telaviv, Montréal, Toronto, Singapore and the Dominican Republic. When terrorism strikes abroad, the cops stationed in those countries send back details of how and where the act took place so we can secure the same types of areas at home like a bombed train or something. We are now alert to all our trains that are vast and all over the city.
When they bombed the Hotels in India, the police there did not know the interior layouts of exits in the hotel. Kelly has a data base that includes the blueprints to 700 major N.Y. Hotels in it for the police activity use. He has stopped a possible attack on the bridges to the city. The terrorists backed off because there was too much protection around the bridges and tunnels in the city. He stopped a possible bombing of the Times Square part of the city. The problem is that cops have to watch everywhere, a terrorist just has to watch one place and try to destroy it. Hopefully, the message is getting out that New York is not the place to bomb anymore.