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NYPD Plans Surveillance Data Network

NEW YORK -- The NYPD is planning a major storage upgrade to support an ambitious video surveillance project covering Manhattans financial nerve-center.

Speaking at the Tri-State CIO Forum here today, NYPD CIO Jim Onalfo described the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative (LMSI) as key to the city’s counter-terrorism efforts.

”It’s the kind of thing that Al-Qaeda wants to go after,” he said, describing the plan to deploy surveillance gear across a southern swathe of the city, including Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange, Ground Zero, and City Hall. “When a terrorist is going to attack something, they do about 20 to 40 surveys, so it is really important that we keep track of what is happening.”

The LMSI project, which began last year, could eventually see cameras deployed on around 1,000 buildings, as well as an undisclosed number of police cars, generating massive quantities of data. Police officers will also use sophisticated tools such as facial recognition software to identify terrorists before they strike, according to Onalfo.

“This is the first solution of its type in the country,” he told Byte and Switch, explaining that the LMSI storage infrastructure will be robust enough to handle large quantities of video data from multiple sources, including the NYPD’s Real Time Crime Center and surveillance gear in police cars. “When you carry streaming video, it’s humongous -- there’s just so much more of it.”

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