Warning that New York’s skyscrapers remain a top terrorist target, the NYPD released a detailed guide today to making them safer. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly touted a 100-page report “Engineering Security” as an ideal safety roadmap for property owners. “We have also provided in the publication and online the tools to calculate the risk to your building,” Kelly told a group of owners gathered at One Police Plaza.Police used the example of how a truck bomb filled with explosives can be loaded and driven to a target to illustrate the continuing terrorist threat. The report urged property owners to improve perimeter security, design buildings that can better withstand a blast, step up screening of visitors, design emergency evacuation plans and safeguard air systems in the event of a chemical attack.
These are not just lessons from 9-11, police said. The NYPD outlined more then 10 terrorist plots in past past years with the city in the cross-hairs of al Qaeda as well as homegrown groups. These included plans to attack the Citicorp Center and other landmarks, as well as plots on trains and transportation hubs.
“Terrorist intention to attack New York city’s people, building or critical infrastructures is unambiguous,” said David Cohen, Deputy Commissioner of the NYPD’s Intelligence Division.
Officials said the report was designed to help existing buildings as well as future ones. The NYPD has given its opinion on plans for ground zero and the building of the New Yankee Stadium and Citifield. Real Estate Groups and the city’s building commissioner welcomed the report.
“It will also act as an important tool for property owners to identify how to protect their buildings in the design phase,” said Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri.
Other suggestions include using hard, fire-resistant substances to build walls and floors and posing glass facades “away from [higher-risk] buildings,” and installing X-ray machines to scan packages.
“We understand that the threat of terrorism will remain a serious concern for the foreseeable future – and we continue to do everything possible to prevent another attack and mitigate the harmful effects one might cause,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “At the same time, we know that enhanced security does not need to come at the expense of aesthetic appeal, functionality, and environmental sustainability.”
The FDNY, Department of Buildings and Department of City Planning and various professional organizations also lent insight into the final project.