As prominent New Yorkers call for more cameras around Times Square following the failed bomb attempt, New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly addressed big brother privacy concerns people may have about additional security cameras.
According to a Human Events report, Kelly said, "We're talking about cameras that are in public areas. The Supreme Court held long ago that there's no expectation of privacy in a public area." Kelly, who has called for more security cameras in the city, said last week that the jury is still out on how much cameras helped in catching Faisal Shahzad, suspected of trying to set off a bomb in Times Square. "It gave us some information. I can't say specifically that helped in the case," said Kelly, in the report, adding they are still examining cameras in the area. We may in fact be able to still get pictures of the specific event," Kelly said. "Detectives are looking at a lot of film."
The current number of cameras in the Times Square area is 82, according to the Associated Press.
Kelly said it could take awhile to implement his call for more cameras, which he said requires federal funding.
Townsend said that it's not simply more cameras that are needed, but cameras with time and date stamps and the technology to quickly review the footage. Townsend said being honest with the public is the key to whether additional cameras would raise privacy concerns. "Wherever privacy and civil liberty are [a] concern, you want to have a public debate on it," Townsend said.