Radiation sensors and surveillance cameras to be used to screen and follow every vehicle entering lower Manhattan
NEW YORK - August 12, 2008 - The NYPD is working on a high-tech, anti-terror plan to track every vehicle that enters Manhattan. It's called "Operation Sentinel," and it's already sparking a debate about the right to privacy.
Every time a car, bus or truck drives into Manhattan on either a bridge or thru a tunnel its license plate would be screened and photographed. All part of the new multi-million dollar security plan proposed by the NYPD. Its aim? Prevent another terrorist attack.
"Good idea I think. Anything that makes the city safer is a very good idea," said NYC resident Sam Mauer.
"With terrorism today, I have no problem with them doing whatever they need to do," said Paul Salk of Long Branch, New Jersey.
Most commuters that spoke to CBS 2 had no problem being photographed or screened for radioactive materials, as the plan calls for, but some felt their privacy would be invaded.
"Come on. That's them getting into our business. That's what it is. Tell them to stay out of our business," said an anonymous NYC resident.
"Operation Sentinel" also includes heavy security implementation at the new World Trade Center site. Only specially screened cars and delivery trucks would be allowed past police manned barriers at the 5 entrances. There would also be numerous guards in booths keeping an eye on people and traffic.
The checkpoints where pedestrian and visitors would have to go thru would reportedly not involve the inspection of their bags. Instead, it's aimed to prevent a car or truck bomb attack.
"We are really getting to the point where NYPD is going to be tracking our movements all over the city everyday," said Chris Dunn of NY Civil Liberties Union.
Dunn also says the security plan is too invasive.
"If police were going to focus on terrorism suspects everyone would support that, but this is a program where every person driving in a car, no matter what he or she has done, is going to end up in a police file."