Does high-tech equipment keep streets safe?

April 23, 2013 3:47:06 PM PDT
150 Million dollars worth of technology is in the nerve center of the NYPD's eyes in the sky throughout the Financial District. This technology is meant to stack the deck in the favor of safety should terror strike again.

"You can never let your guard down. And as soon as you start thinking that crime and terrorism are things of the past, that's when you're in real trouble," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

On Tuesday, Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly showed off their sensitive gear video feeds from four thousand cameras. Many of them so-called "smart cameras", that are automated to pick out anything that doesn't look quite right.

For example, Tuesday afternoon a man left a bike in front of the British Consulate on Third Avenue in Midtown. Since the bike suddenly stopped moving and appeared unattended, the system perceived it as something suspicious. Officers decided it was a threat.

In Boston last Monday, cameras did capture both bombing suspects leaving their devices ? one of them just a few feet from 8-year-old Martin Richard, who was laid to rest Tuesday.

No one will ever know if this type of technology could have done anything to change what happened in Boston. Could it have allowed police to evacuate the finish line, or maybe give them a head start in identifying the bombers more quickly?

In New York, Bloomberg and Kelly say it is all about playing the odds, and all the technology in the world will never make people perfectly safe.