Friday, January 1, 2010

Government dashboard placards = terrorist tools - Mayor Bloomberg "Dump those placards"

The point has been made in front of our own eyes recently that dashboard placards are downright dangerous in the post 9/11 world we live in. If there was one single tool that is useful to terrorist, it's not a van with explosives, it's a van with explosives AND A PLACARD.   The placard gives the terrorist unhindered access to sensitive areas, allows him to park for hours,and puts US all in jeopardy. What good is a police barricade when all it takes is a piece of laminated paper (bought for $20.00) to gain access?

The Civic Center Residents Coalition has been saying for years that using an illegal placard amounts to impersonating an officer, this is what happened at Times Sq. We are all lucky that this unattended van was not used for terrorist purposes. Lucky, that is , this time.  The word is out now that there are simply too many bogus placards out there, combined with the intimidation the placard represents, that enforcement of parking rules is virtually impossible. This makes us unsafe Mr. Mayor.

The use of placards , so long as there is a single bogus placard in existence, confuses ticket agents and makes enforcement virtually impossible. This is the reason why NYC must do away with placards completely !  Three years ago we said this, and now our case has been made very clear.

If the Mayor and his bogus DOT commissioner Sadik "Con" refuse to completely revoke all placards and enact fast fleet technology for all government associated vehicles, both government fleet and privately owned, then we will be in constant danger . Fast Fleet technology, already in use in other cities in America, negates the use of placards and relies on 21st technology which is already in place in the rental car industry ; satellite tracking.

The reluctance of a full transition from plastic laminated paper placards (easily forged and confusing to ticket agents) to tracking all government employees by satellite is no longer a choice that needs to be debated, tested, ,and bartered, it is a necessity. The current system wastes tens of millions of dollars (all of which can be used for the subway infrastructure) AND thanks to this recent NY Times article we now know the DANGER of this system can kill thousands of NY'ers.

What's your excuse now Mayor Bloomberg?

The threat is real, the placards must be replaced by fast fleet. There is no longer a choice.

Here is the NY Times article:

Police Say Placard Misled Them Into Overlooking a Suspect Van in Times Square

Published: December 31, 2009
A bogus placard on the windshield of a suspicious-looking van played a role in why the Police Department did not investigate the vehicle for two days while it was parked in Times Square, a police spokesman said Thursday.
The vehicle’s owner, meanwhile, was arrested and charged with a felony.
The van was reported to the police Wednesday morning by a security officer at Condé Nast, which has offices in Times Square. The authorities closed nearby streets for two hours and evacuated part of the Condé Nast and Nasdaq buildings as bomb squad officers arrived with a robot to search the vehicle.
The windows on the vehicle, a white 1997 Dodge Ram Van, had been blacked out, and it had no license plates. It had been parked on Broadway between 41 and 42nd Streets since Monday, and it should have aroused police suspicions before officers were called to investigate, said Paul J. Browne, the department’s chief spokesman.
“We certainly would have preferred to have found it earlier; we think we should have,” Mr. Browne said. “But we appreciate the fact that an alert security person from Condé Nast did.”
The episode put a spotlight on the department’s security strategies just before the annualNew Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square.
Mr. Browne said that the windshield placard made the van appear to be an official law enforcement vehicle. He said it “may have misled traffic enforcement agents who would otherwise have paid closer attention to it.”
The placard was produced by a group that charges $20 a piece for such items, and it was “clearly designed to try to avoid parking summonses,” Mr. Browne said.
The van’s owner, George Freyer, 36, of New Jersey, was arrested about 6 p.m. Thursday after arriving with his lawyer at the Midtown South station house. He was charged with possession of a forged instrument, a felony, and a lesser charge that was not immediately clear. The felony charge, the police said, was related to an expired out-of-state vehicle registration document on which a new expiration date had been written by hand.
The police said the van was loaded with folding tables and scarves, and they did not believe that Mr. Freyer intended any harm.
Mr. Browne said traffic enforcement agents, who are Police Department employees, were educated about the proper use of official parking placards and dashboard-mounted permits. He said the placard discovered in the van would be added to a list of “photographs of bogus placards” to help the traffic agents perform their jobs.

Just try to pick out the "bogus" placard among these, apparently a NYPD traffic agent can do it either.
As Michael Bloomberg claims NYC is a safer City than it was in 2001, we have our doubts so long as
his employees are allowed to hide terrorists in our own neighborhoods by using placards on dashboards.

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