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De Blasio And Cops Blast City Council Bill Requiring NYPD To Show Surveillance Tactics

PHOTO: REUTERS/Darren Ornitz

Kerry Picket Political Reporter

The New York City Council wants the New York Police Department to disclose its surveillance techniques of terrorists and criminals and even Mayor Bill de Blasio hates the proposal.

“If we start to lay out everything we do to gather information to fight crime and fight terrorism, if we lay that out too publicly and in too much detail, unfortunately, it provides a roadmap for the bad guys,” de Blasio told host John Catsimatidis on his radio show Sunday night, The NY Daily News reported.

The mayor went on to say the city council bill bothers him because it would require the NYPD to reveal specifics about how they use tech that help them track where criminals or terrorists could be.

NYPD deputy commissioner for counterterrorism John Miller wrote in a NY Post op-ed Sunday night the city council measure “would require us to advertise sensitive technologies that criminals and terrorists do not fully understand.” Miller also notes that the NYPD would also have to detail  all of their surveillance technology strengths and weaknesses.

“There are a lot of people gunning to hurt New York City, and we are not going to help them do it by giving them the kind of information that would only make our enemies stronger,” de Blasio said.

Miller, placing the blame on Democratic Council Member Daniel Garodnick, the ACLU and NYU’s Brennan Center, said the bill would create a “one-stop shopping” depot for terrorists seeking information on how law enforcement conducts counterterrorism strategy.

“What they are talking about, though, goes right down to the kind of hidden recorders or transmitters that an undercover officer would wear in a drug deal with dangerous cartel bosses,” Miller told Catsimatidis Sunday. “They are talking about the kinds of hidden video equipment we would use to record a meeting between terrorist leaders who are plotting to do a bombing in New York City.”

Garodnick defended his bill in a statement on his website saying in part:

“At the core of the Garodnick/Gibson bill is the idea that citizens and their representatives should have input on the way they are policed. Police officers have legitimate reasons to use certain technologies, but we can expect safeguards within the NYPD to prevent cops from carrying a Stingray to a protest scene, or randomly driving through the city in an X-ray van.”

He added, “The police rarely like restrictions from the legislature — as when then-Commissioner Bill Bratton called sensible low-level summons reform from the City Council “crazy” (that’s now law). See also the department’s continued opposition to the Right To Know Act, which would codify processes for officers to identify themselves and conduct legal searches.”

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