New York State is in budgetary trouble. New York City is in a financial crisis.
Is protecting the citizenry one of the first fatalities of fiscal decay as the NYPD slows the addition of 800 officers and 3,000 security cameras downtown in the Wall Street area surrounding Ground Zero?
A bad economy has forced the New York Police Department to slow down plans to assign 800 officers to the area near Ground Zero and Wall Street and cancel a police academy class next year, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said yesterday during a City Council hearing.
The move is a product of budget restraints and a development slowdown, with construction of the Freedom Tower mired in delays. There are still scores of officers working in the Financial District, which is considered a prime target for terrorists.
The Lower Manhattan Security Initiative, as it is called, is similar to the so-called Ring of Steel in London, where authorities use a network of cameras, security barriers and officers to guard against attacks by terrorists. Kelly has warned for some time that budget woes would slow the department’s plans to assign 800 cops downtown and to install 3,000 security cameras. About 300 cameras have thus far been installed.
If New York City is unable to protect the Financial District from terrorist attack because of shrinking budgetary punishments, then the entire world is at risk, and the bad guys win.
If we are unwilling as a world to protect our intimate, delicate, core — then the rest of the universe becomes an unnecessary appendage.
Get the NYPD officers on duty, don’t cancel the police academy class, and make certain every single security camera is installed and recording wide-eyed to catch every action of every citizen, every visitor, and every illegal in the city.