Increased Security Contradictions

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Note: This was originally posted 08/18/2008, but I thought it would be of some relevant or digressive interest today; a reason for my cynicism over heightened security.

In 2007, six years after the 9/11 attacks, the NYPD was set to introduce advanced radiation detectors to protect the city. These are small devices which specially trained police would carry in knapsacks to patrol prime terrorist targets. Named the “KO Kit” after their developer Detective David Kao, the detectors were to be complemented with isotope-identifying gear that have a wider range of detection than those currently in use by the police.

With the NYPD in its high-tech groove, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was proposing an entire shebang of explosives detectors and security cameras installed throughout NYC. In addition to this, a special fleet of helicopters were to be outfitted with license-plate reading equipment and various networks of radiation detectors were to be set-up at the city’s ports and roadways.  New York Post (06/07/07).

This was the story last year and many of the proposals are apparently now being implemented by the NYPD…all of this is fine and dandy, but….

While this is going on down here, to the north of the city at four nuclear reactors, National Guard troops who had stood guard since 9/11 are being withdrawn this summer. According to Eric Durr, a spokesman for the state Division of Military and Naval Concerns, there “wasn’t any money in the state budget for keeping the troops at nuclear power plants.”  The National Terror Alert

The Indian Point nuclear reactor, one of the four reactors in this state, stands less then forty miles up the majestic Hudson River. If a paramilitary group of terrorists were to gain access to this reactor, the future of NYC would be…well, rather shitty. A matter of concern for decades, accusations of lack security (even nonexistent security) and other unsafe conditions, Indian Point is viewed as the greatest threat to the city…with or without terrorists being around. At least 100,000, within a ten to forty mile radius, could die as a result of radiation poisoning if something untoward were to occur up there: the Chernobyl of the USA.

However, it’s a great time to be in the security business: there’s always a buyer, at equitable rates of exchange, for one’s high-tech products while allowing for much clearer and present dangers to take care of themselves.

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