The NYPD is capable of shooting down planes in the event of another 9/11-style attack on New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday, but it’s unknown exactly what weapons the police have at their disposal, and whether their arsenal includes surface-to-air missiles.
“The NYPD has lots of capabilities that you don’t know about and you won’t know about,” Bloomberg told reporters Monday, echoing recent comments by police commissioner Ray Kelly.
“Do you mean to say that the NYPD has the means to take down an aircraft?” Kelly was asked by “60 Minutes” on Sunday .
“Yes,” he replied, “I prefer not to get into details, but obviously, this would be in a very extreme situation.”
It would have to be an extreme situation, given the danger of shooting down a large plane over a heavily populated area like New York City. It’s also not entirely clear legally, whether cops — unlike the military — could shoot at an unarmed jet.
Neither Bloomberg nor Kelly would specify what weapons the NYPD has its disposal. Many believe New York’s top cop was referring to the helicopter-mounted Barrett .50 caliber rifle, known since 2005 to be in the city’s counter-terrorism arsenal.