New York City has just enabled an advanced new underground surveillance network modeled on London’s Ring of Steel. Camera footage will enter a database searchable by objects, colors, and individuals’ physical features. The system a huge step forward from the previous camera network, which I’ve dubbed the Crumbled Paper Bag. Gothamist reports:
500 new surveillance cameras went live yesterday inside the Times Square, Penn Station and Grand Central subway station, and 500 more are on the way. Mayor Bloomberg and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly unveiled the new surveillance system, which provides real-time video images to the command center, and can analyze thousands of images to find a particular item. “If we’re looking for a person in a red jacket, we can call up all the red jackets filmed in the last 30 days,” Kelly told reporters. “We’re beginning to use software that can identify suspicious objects or behaviors.”
The $200 million system is part what will one day be a 3,000-camera network of “public and private-sector cameras, including those covering Lower Manhattan assets south of Canal Street,” according to a press release. Soon software will sound an alarm when cameras spot unattended bags, cars going the wrong way or people entering restricted areas.