The New York Post is valiantly holding the Mayor accountable for the "master keys" floating around in a world gone mad. In the wrong hands (say, TERRORIST hands) the keys could be used for the same things tens of thousands of city employees who already possess them use them for. What kind of evil locksmith would sell keys you could probably get from former & current FDNY employees, electricians, or transit workers for free? "We talked to the guy doing it," Bloomberg told the paper. "He said he would stop." How long did we have to waterboard him to agree to it?
Councilmember Peter Vallone is also keenly aware of the danger, as he demonstrated in what is perhaps the most sobering email subject line of our generation: "VALLONE: 'KEYS TO THE CITY MEANT FOR HEROES, NOT ANY ZERO.' " Indeed, both Vallone and Vanilla Ice do not approve of just anyone using the keys (to our hearts).
Buried in the 10th paragraph of the Post's story is the revelation that the city is literally swimming in master keys:
Some top officials told The Post there may be too many variables to pinpoint the number of keys on the street. They said some usable keys go back 40 years, and were also issued to electricians and elevator mechanics. It’s nearly impossible to tell how many of them have been duplicated. There is no law requiring authorized users to turn in their keys when they leave.
The result has been a city saturated with so many keys that collectors like Daniel Ferraris (above), a retired locksmith, has more than he knows what to do with. So he sells them on the Internet.
So to paraphrase a bad joke, the city's master keys are like the crowded "VIP" section of a nightclub: so many people have them, that the access they provide isn't all that special (6th graders: feel free to use that one in your next paper on "irony").
"Elevator repairmen, electricians, building managers, maintenance people and others also have these keys for use in their various professions," FDNY spokesman Frank Dwyer tells us. "These keys are not unique to FDNY members." Dwyer says there are more than 13,000 current members of the FDNY who are issued the keys.
Nevertheless, Mayor Bloomberg promised to review the issue and hopefully the feasibility of buying one of those huge cartoon magnets to retrieve all of the keys at once. “We can add another level of database or investigatory or prosecutorial people, all of which cost money. But unless you get something that’s going to work, we don’t want to do it.”