City spending $24M Homeland Security windfall on wide-ranging security update – New York Daily News

The “Ring of Steel” security plan is coming to midtown.

The Empire State Building, Grand Central Terminal and the United Nations will be surrounded with cameras, license-plate readers and chemical-weapons detectors under the new plan to go in effect by 2011.

The eye-in-the-sky security gadgets that police now use to scan lower Manhattan will also be used in midtown, thanks to $24 million in federal Homeland Security funds.

“We will spend as much as necessary in either federal or city funds to complete this project and protect New York,” Mayor Bloomberg said as he announced the program yesterday. “This is our No. 1 priority, and it comes before all fiscal concerns.”

The city launched its lower Manhattan program, modeled on London’s “Ring of Steel,” in 2006. It set up a command center in the Financial District last year, where police and other security officials review a constant flow of images and information from the streets.