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NYC cops to keep close eye on Super Bowl fans

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  • Super Bowl security plan: 4,000 police officers

    Super Bowl security plan: 4,000 police officers

    Wednesday, January 15 2014 7:06 PM EST2014-01-16 00:06:52 GMT
    Police officials say security for the Super Bowl will include about 4,000 government and private officers assigned to MetLife Stadium on game day.
    The game plan for security at this year's Super Bowl will include deployment of nearly 4,000 local police and private security officers, airport-style screening for those entering MetLife Stadium and a host of other...

ByTOM HAYS

NEW YORK (AP) — When Super Bowl fans fill the streets of New York City next week, police will be watching them closely — in person, in the air and on closed-circuit monitors.

The New York Police Department has quietly installed about 200 temporary surveillance cameras in midtown Manhattan to help spot trouble along "Super Bowl Boulevard," a 13-block street fair on Broadway that's expected to draw large crowds during the windup to the game. Banners promoting the fair compete on the same lampposts with decidedly less festive signs reading, "NYPD Security Camera in Area."

The heavy surveillance is one facet of a vast security effort by scores of law enforcement agencies that spent the past two years devising their own version of a zone defense to protect Super Bowl events that are all over the map.

Manhattan and Brooklyn will be the scene of dozens of pre-game gatherings, while across the Hudson River, Newark will stage Media Day, Jersey City will host the Seahawks and Broncos at hotels there before the kickoff on Feb. 2 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.

At a recent security briefing at the stadium, police chiefs and other officials said success will be measured in part by how well authorities conceal all the concern over potential threats.

The officials "realize this is the Super Bowl of football, not security," said Jeffrey Miller, the NFL's head of security. "That's why all of us have been working very hard to make sure we take care of the logistical and security concerns so the fans can come and relax and enjoy what they see on the field."

As a precaution, the officials have mostly declined to give specific details of the security plans. They've also refused to forecast the costs.

But at the briefing, the head of the New Jersey State Police revealed that up to 700 troopers would be assigned to patrols in and around the stadium. The NFL has committed another 3,000 private security officers to bolster security there as well.

In Manhattan, the NYPD will draw on its experience securing the annual New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square, the New York City Marathon, the U.N. General Assembly and other high-profile events. The department also has studied bombings and other attacks, both domestic and foreign, to fine tune its approach to guarding against potential terror threats.

"We're accustomed to large events and we're prepared to respond to anything that presents itself," said Chief James Waters, commanding officer of the NYPD's Counterterrorism Bureau.

Waters described how NYPD officials met with their counterparts in Boston following the bombing at last year's Boston Marathon to assess the risk of future attacks in similar settings. The NYPD responded by blanketing the finish line area of the city's own marathon with security cameras — an approach that will be duplicated along Super Bowl Boulevard.

"We took a close look at what happened in Boston," Waters said. "Unfortunately, this is the world we live in, so we learned from events around the world."

The temporary cameras for the Super Bowl festivities will supplement a system of thousands of permanent cameras covering midtown and Wall Street that the NYPD monitors from a command center in lower Manhattan. The department has pioneered analytical software that allows it to program the cameras to detect suspicious activity, such as a bag or other objects left in one place for a long time.

The NYPD also will take lower-tech measures similar to those taken for New Year's Eve, when hundreds of extra uniformed and plainclothes officers in Midtown and elsewhere will mix with the crowd.

Hazmat and bomb squads will be on standby. Others officers will patrol with bomb-sniffing dogs. Still more will watch from rooftops and from police helicopters.

The NYPD has advised hotels welcoming guests for the Super Bowl to remind their staffs to be on the lookout for anyone loitering in lobbies or guest floors. They also have recommended being suspicious of guests booking unusually long stays — a possible sign someone may be using a room as a staging area for conducting extensive surveillance or storing weapons.

FBI analysts will monitor the latest counterrorism intelligence the week of the game to watch for threats. There also have been reports that another federal agency, the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration, used helicopters with radiation detecting technology to fly over parts of New York City and New Jersey and map naturally occurring radiation sources as a baseline to measure against possible dirty bomb or other rogue activity.

Jeffrey Strauss, a former New Yorker and San Diego restaurateur who's staying in the city and attending the Super Bowl, said he's thankful for the security. But he's more worried about the commute to the Meadowlands and the weather than any possible mayhem.

"I won't go to game in fear," Strauss said. "I think I'll have a better chance of freezing to death than getting killed by a terrorist."

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  • Andy Golub's NYC Bodypainting Day

    Andy Golub's NYC Bodypainting Day

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:43:52 GMT
    The saying art is autobiographical takes on a whole new meaning when your canvas is a fully nude human body, as it is for artist Andy Golub. Andy along with 30 other artists and 45 Technicolor models paraded around several Manhattan hotspots over the weekend for NYC Body Painting day. Believe or not, this is completely legal in New York City.
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  • Protestors rally against NYPD's 'broken windows' policing

    Protestors rally against NYPD's 'broken windows' policing

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:07 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:07:39 GMT
    Emotions about police brutality were still raw at a protest in Harlem Wednesday night. Eric Garner died after police put him in an apparent choke hold. Cops stopped garner for the minor offense of selling loose cigarettes in Staten Island. Officers had been enforcing the so-called broken windows policy.
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  • WTC shipwreck mystery solved

    WTC shipwreck mystery solved

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:08 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:08:14 GMT
    Archeologists say they've solved a mystery that started with the rebuilding at ground zero. During the excavation at the World Trade Center Site, workers uncovered part of an old ship. No one knew where it came from. Now after years of study, researchers believe the sloop dates back to 1773, built from wood harvested from Pennsylvania, the same kind used to build Independence Hall.
    Archeologists say they've solved a mystery that started with the rebuilding at ground zero. During the excavation at the World Trade Center Site, workers uncovered part of an old ship. No one knew where it came from. Now after years of study, researchers believe the sloop dates back to 1773, built from wood harvested from Pennsylvania, the same kind used to build Independence Hall.
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  • $10 million for East End overpass.

    $10 million for East End overpass.

    Thursday, July 31 2014 1:20 AM EDT2014-07-31 05:20:32 GMT
    In the heart of the East End, at whatever intersection you stop, you will notice it's a busy community.A once very humble Harrisburg street now has a new look to it, and it's all because of a new light rail line in the community, which has revitalized the area..However, not all is pretty.For several blocks, this is what residents say they have been seeing for years. ....no rail, no construction crews, and no movement at all.“That’s coming. That’s here. What’s missing is this part, which will ...
    In the heart of the East End, at whatever intersection you stop, you will notice it's a busy community.A once very humble Harrisburg street now has a new look to it, and it's all because of a new light rail line in the community, which has revitalized the area..However, not all is pretty.For several blocks, this is what residents say they have been seeing for years. ....no rail, no construction crews, and no movement at all.“That’s coming. That’s here. What’s missing is this part, which will ...
  • Launch Academy - Moving Autistic Kids to Employment, Independent Living

    Launch Academy - Moving Autistic Kids to Employment, Independent Living

    Thursday, July 31 2014 1:18 AM EDT2014-07-31 05:18:14 GMT
    The sofa has become the symbolic enemy of every mother and father raising a special needs child.That's because each of these parents genuinely fears their kid will graduate from school to the couch and never get off.To head off this heartache, a cutting edge school has emerged in Sugarland. It's called Launch Academy, a place where teens with autism literally rehearse full-time for the real life to come."What it comes down to is they don't have a community. They have never graduated or been p...
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  • YOUNG CYPRESS CANCER PATIENT “DOC FOR A DAY”

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    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:12 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:12:35 GMT
    The doctor is in and her name is Raelyn Cutbirth. "She's a beautiful, amazing, hilarious little girl," said David Cutbirth, her father.At just 4-years-old the little beauty is beaming with joy after she got to be a veterinarian for a day at the Animal Medical Center of Cypress. "This is the ultimate for her, her ultimate passion is animals," said Jenni Cutbirth, her mom. "Doc is in,” said Raelyn in her sweet, soft voice. She even has the name tag to prove it. “Dr. Raelyn. ‘You're doctor Raely...
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