NYC may install police cameras in all 250,000 streetlights

Traffic light Manhattan

Photo by Ralph Hockens/Flickr

The plan is currently in the ‘early stages.’

The vast surveillance network watching nearly all of Manhattan may soon include police cameras in all of New York City’s more than 250,000 streetlights, former New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton told WNBC on Monday.

The city is currently in the “early stages” of looking at that type of system.

Last weekend’s bombing in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood was captured by a system of more than 8,000 separate cameras, current New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill told reporters on Monday. 

Many of those cameras exist as part of the multimillion-dollar Ring of Steel—known formally as the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative (LMSI)—that puts nearly every inch of America’s biggest city on camera.

The LMSI, launched after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, has crept up to the rest of Manhattan over the last 15 years. 

“That’s the world we’re living in now,” O’Neill said on Monday. “Any street, any incident in New York City you get to—most of the time—that gets captured on video surveillance.”

Contact the author: Patrick Howell O’Neill, [email protected]

Patrick Howell O'Neill

Patrick Howell O'Neill

Patrick Howell O'Neill is a notable cybersecurity reporter whose work has focused on the dark net, national security, and law enforcement. A former senior writer at the Daily Dot, O'Neill joined CyberScoop in October 2016. I am a cybersecurity journalist at CyberScoop. I cover the security industry, national security and law enforcement.