With no offense intended to all my NYC friends, of course.
Some tosser with the NYPD has asked the City Council to give the police the power to authorize people in New York City to possess environmental testing devices, and provide for criminal prosecution of persons possessing such equipment without permission.
Air quality meters, chemical sniffers, Geiger counters. It appears that the NYPD would even be licensing smoke detectors, radon test kits, and carbon monoxide monitors. And anyone merely possessing these things without permission could go to jail.
The justification for this invidious tidbit of legislation is the fear that unregulated test equipment might register false alarms, inciting panic.
The measure brought stiff, unexpected opposition at a Council hearing last week. Its proponent withdrew the bill for further review at the end of the meeting, so it is off the table for now. Unlike the Village Voice reporter, I do not think it will be back, despite the NYPD proponent's assertions to the contrary. Considering that even the VV reporter notes that there have been no incidents of false-alarm-induced panic to justify the bill, I find it irresponsible of the VV reporter to write what he did in the last paragraph of the article.
I do not expect the legislation to go any further towards becoming law. I think it is too much of an invasion to be accepted by New Yorkers all at once. But if by some chance it does get enacted, it will indicate a substantial shift in the willingness of New Yorkers to accept nanny-city impositions.
As an aside, I carry a Cold War vintage Civil Defense personal dosimeter with me everywhere I go. A Bendix model CDV-138. Not because I am worried about my long-term radiation exposure, but because I find it interesting to track. And I'm a retro-tech fanboy.