2006_03_commkelly.jpgThe NYPD's moves are the biggest news of the day. It's not just upping the NYPD's ranks by 800 - Police Commssioner Ray Kelly announced that hundreds of surveillance cameras will be installed in order to better observe (and deter) possible criminal and terrorist movements. Oh, and there will be license plate readers and vehicle barriers downtown as well if the NYPD has its way - the city wants federal money to build a "ring of steel" similar to the one London has (topic to discuss: The ring is neither steel nor exactly ringlike) and used in its post-underground bombing efforts. Naturally, the NYCLU is chomping at the bit, with its associate legal director Chris Dunn telling the Daily News, "Commissioner Kelly may be ready to launch us all into a surveillance society, but we believe cameras are not a cure-all for crime and terrorism. It is far from clear that cameras deter crime." Yeah, but the NYPD probably thinks, "Why not ask the government for $81.5 million?" and, as the Daily News point out that there's no "comprehensive system to monitor the Financial District," we can imagine that private businesses have been lobbying the city to up security down there.

And moving from the concerns about global terrors to just navigating city streets, Commissioner Kelly also complained about allowing commercial vehicles the privilege to double park for three hours without fines. Plus, many companies will just pay reduced fines if they are ticketed, though the city claims its not losing money to allow companies just to pay a portion of the ticket. The Commissioner wants to reduce the waiting time to 30 minutes. To us, three hours is A LOT of time, but 30 minutes sound too little. And really, how is this regulated? The NYPD wants to add 117 ticket agents, but is that enough? Maybe "ring of steel" surveillance will also be used for ticketing that FedEx truck idling outside!