Does the NYPD Seriously Have Its Own Surface-to-Air Missiles?

New York City is serious about anti-terrorism efforts. It has to be. But did you know that the NYPD has its own anti-aircraft missiles? Commissioner Ray Kelly told 60 minutes last night that his counter-terrorism unit could take out an aircraft if it had to.

Commissioner Kelly said that he wanted the city to be able to be able to defend itself against nearly any scenario without relying on the federal government. And if that meant securing (presumably) anti-aircraft missiles the means to take down a rogue aircraft, so be it:

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.

I'm not sure if I'm more shocked or relieved that this is in place. As a New Yorker, I appreciate all the time and attention that goes into counter-terrorism in this city. But every now and then the local police department having this kind of capability makes me take a step back and realize how crazy it is.

Update: NYPD sources told the NY Post that the anti-aircraft resource Commissioner Kelly referred to is a .50 caliber Barrett sniper rifle that can be mounted to police helicopters and that's only used for "special occasions." .50 caliber rounds can be used to stop boats and cars, but would likely be limited to smaller planes in the anti-aircraft capacity Kelly was referring to. [NY Post, 60 Minutes, AP via Fark]

Image Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News