Ray Kelly, the New York City Commissioner of Police, was on Sixty Minutes, this past Sunday. On it, he claimed that the New York Police Department had the capability of taking out enemy aircraft. Oh really? Experts have cast doubt on his recent claims, saying that theoretically, yes, perhaps the department might have it, but kind of in the way that I have the ability to be President someday.
The fact of the matter is that the NYPD is the largest, best funded and best armed city police force in the country. But while in theory, they may be able to take out an enemy aircraft over Manhattan, one, should it do so, and two, does it have the policy authorization to do so? As critics have noted, doesn’t that authority belong to the Department of Defense? And also, let’s think about this for a minute: Is having the NYPD shooting an airplane over New York City such a hot idea? The short answer: hell no.
The New York Police Department has neither the experience, nor the expertise to successfully down an enemy aircraft, either in terms of the command know-how, the execution, or how to handle the fallout. Put simply, Kelly was bluffing. He wanted to make New York look like a harder target to hit than it actually is. For would be suicide bombers, I don’t see how this is even a deterrent, as they’ve resigned themselves to death anyways. It was a piece of braggadocio, pure and simple, and should he ever give the order to down an aircraft over the city, he ought to be court martialed for it. Leave this sort of thing to the Air Force. They’re the ones that are trained for it. Not the average Joe from Staten Island.