There has been a lot of buzz about Commissioner Kelly’s Remarks about NYPD having the capacity to “take down an aircraft.” Should they have that capacity?
According to the New York Post, “Police Commissioner Ray Kelly dropped a bombshell last night the NYPD has weapons powerful enough to blow a rogue aircraft out of the sky. Kelly — answering questions about the department's state-of-the-art anti-terrorism system on CBS’s “60 Minutes’’ — admitted that the city is packing an arsenal on par with some militaries.”
Ric Walters, a Senior Security Consultant with O'Brien's Response Management comments, “It would be interesting to learn just what NYPD would use to bring down an aircraft. It takes a bit of training to properly use even the most basic of shoulder launched anti-aircraft missiles. In our litigious society, doing like the Afghans and other middle-East war-fighters do and handing the SAM to some guy who's never had 10 minutes of training, then hoping for the best, isn't likely. The only places to receive that training are our military and the manufacturer, and I cannot envision a manufacturer providing any police agency, even one as large and important as NYPD, with that training. That leaves the military, and Posse Comitatus would most likely come into play in that scenario.
Civilian police don't have an anti-aircraft mission. The Air Force and Army do. If NYPD has decided to take that on, where will the militarization of the police stop? Will they be mounting Stingers on their ESU trucks? Will they buy Avenger systems for patrol? Will NYPD ESU arrive at a scene in a Stryker? Will their aviation unit buy Apaches? As an ex-city cop and retired Air Force OSI Special Agent, I'd say enough is enough. Leave the military missions to the military, and stick with being a great police department.”