Before September 11, one security guard stood at the front entrance of the Veterans Administration Medical Center on 23rd Street and First Avenue. Now, a team of guards studies the x-ray monitors in the lobby, occasionally frisking people whose belts and watches set off the buzzers of the metal detectors. The hospital has sealed off all loading docks and side entrances, and has hired 12 ex-officers to improve security. More security equipment has been added, with new video cameras monitoring the hospital's hallways. The mailroom has been swabbed weekly for in-house anthrax tests [...]

Following the terrorist attacks, most New Yorkers did not complain about the extra measures of security; most seemed grateful, patient, willing to wait on the long lines. And months later, for many that sentiment has not changed. But others see it differently. "It seems people are more aware of their privacy and other civil liberties than ever before; it is now an open, popular topic of conversation," said Bill Brown, from the Security Camera Players, which works to bring public awareness about security cameras. Video surveillance, anecdotal evidence suggests, is on the rise [...]

(By David Hirschman, David Schwartz and Oren Yaniv. Published in the 25 February 2002 issue of the Gotham Gazette.)

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