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Press Release | 2009-005

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Press Release # 005
Wednesday, February 25, 2009


The New York City Police Department today released for public comment a draft of its Public Security Privacy Guidelines, which will, when finalized, limit the use of counterterrorism technologies deployed as part of the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative. These Guidelines include a provision that requires the destruction of video data within 30 days of its collection, except in limited circumstances.

Launched by Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly in 2005, the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative was designed to help ensure public safety and security, and to detect, deter, and prevent potential terrorist activities. Today, the Initiative covers 1.7 square miles of Manhattan, from Canal Street to Battery Park, and from river to river.

The Lower Manhattan Security Initiative’s integrated approach to security consists of an increased presence of uniformed officers on the streets, and the use of counterterrorism technologies (referred to in the Guidelines as the “Domain Awareness System”) deployed in public areas, including closed circuit televisions owned by the NYPD and its various private and public partners, license plate readers, and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear detectors. These technologies are networked and supply critical supplemental assistance to officers’ ongoing security and public safety efforts.

The NYPD runs the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative out of the Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center, which opened in October 2008. This Center is currently staffed by uniformed members of the NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau and will eventually have workstations for representatives from the NYPD’s various public and private partners. The NYPD drafted the Public Security Privacy Guidelines, the first document of its kind, in anticipation of the involvement of these partners.

The Public Security Privacy Guidelines establish policies and procedures to limit the authorized use of counterterrorism technologies and to provide for limited access to and proper disposition of data. To ensure that appropriate privacy protections exist, the NYPD has considered and consciously incorporated technical, operational, legal, policy, and oversight safeguards throughout the development of the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative.

The Public Security Privacy Guidelines are not statutorily required. The purpose of these Guidelines is to reflect and make publicly available the policies and procedures governing the NYPD’s responsible use of its counterterrorism technologies. In that spirit, the NYPD is making the Public Security Privacy Guidelines available for public comment.

The current draft under review will be posted for comment for a period of 30 days, from Wednesday, February 25th to Thursday, March 26th, at:
Comments on the draft Public Security Privacy Guidelines may be submitted via e-mail to or sent via regular mail to the New York City Police Department,


Counterterrorism Bureau
1 Police Plaza
New York, NY 10038


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