500 security cameras added in NYC

September 20, 2010 8:43:15 PM PDT
The city's ring of steel just got bigger.

That's what some have called the NYPD's surveillance apparatus.

Monday, city officials announced that 500 cameras have been added to the network in three of the city's key landmarks.

Eyewitness News took a look at one of the new cameras just as law enforcement officials viewed them in a command center in Lower Manhattan.

The media was given a rare look inside as city officials announced that their network of cameras has been extended from Lower Manhattan to subway stations all the way up to Penn Station, Grand Central Terminal and Times Square.

The technology can detect suspicious activity.

"That in conjunction with intelligence information would hopefully help us to prevent crime," NYC Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

City officials point to the attempted Times Square bombing in May as proof that the cameras are needed.

But they didn't come cheap. The additional 507 cameras cost $7 million.

"This is the wave of the future. Always at the edge pushing the envelope," Mayor Bloomberg said.

But with all the cameras across the city, has law enforcement pushed the envelope too far?

The ACLU's Donna Lieberman is concerned.

"What measures are going to be taken to protect our privacy?" Lieberman said.

"You can look at as taking away freedoms, but I prefer to look at it as this as guaranteeing your freedom," Mayor Bloomberg said.

The MTA is planning on installing more cameras in the next year.