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NYPD Chief: Police Could Take Down Plane if Needed

"Obviously this would be in a very extreme situation."

NEW YORK (AP) — The chief of the New York Police Department says city police could take down a plane if needed.

Commissioner Ray Kelly tells CBS' "60 Minutes" that after the Sept. 11 attacks, he decided the city couldn't rely on the federal government alone. He set about creating the NYPD's own counter-terrorism unit. He says the department is prepared for multiple scenarios and could even take down a plane.

Kelly didn't divulge details but said "obviously this would be in a very extreme situation."

Other measures include sending NYPD officers abroad, using radiation detectors and creating a network of surveillance cameras in Manhattan.

The interview airs Sunday evening. It comes just a few weeks after the tenth anniversary of 9/11, when hijackers flew planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

CBS News:

Kelly: Well, it's something that's on our radar screen. I mean in an extreme situation, you would have some means to take down a plane.

Pelley: Do you mean to say that the NYPD has the means to take down an aircraft?

Kelly: Yes, I prefer not to get into the details but obviously this would be in a very extreme situation.

Pelley: You have the equipment and the training.

Kelly: Yes.

Kelly gave us an extraordinary look inside the counter-terrorism bureau, the training - like this assault team practicing for a hostage situation in a subway car - and the astounding technology that has been designed and built specifically for the NYPD.

We started with the threat that no one wants to imagine - a nuclear device smuggled into the city.

Out on the East River, we went along on an NYPD boat that was designed by one of the federal government's nuclear laboratories.

Mike Riggio: Within the boat itself we have permanently mounted and installed radiological and nuclear detectors. And the good news is that the detection equipment is very sophisticated and it is very sensitive.

Beyond the water, Kelly has radiation detectors circling the city in helicopters; in trucks down on the street. And thousands of cops have automatic nuclear detectors on their gun belts. The technology is so sensitive Inspector Mike Riggio told us they often stop pleasure boats - for a reason that we found amazing.

Riggio: We'd pull up along side the boat and we'd interview. And that lets us find out that, hey this person may have just had some type of medical procedure.

People who had medical radiation treatments, trigger the detectors.

Pelley: So you like your chances of detecting a dirty bomb or a nuclear device?

Riggio: We do. We do.

One last thing…
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