File photo of NYPD vehicle.

File photo of NYPD vehicle. Credit: Newsday

Enough with the negativity about the New York Police Department and its intelligence- gathering on Muslim students. What's wrong with the public and the media? Intelligence- gathering, or monitoring, is necessary to protect the American way of life [" 'Shocked' by NYPD actions," News, Feb. 23].

Since the beginning of time, every country in the world has gathered intelligence, and rightfully so. It's done in peacetime and, more important, in wartime. Right now we are at war, or has your readership forgotten 9/11?

The NYPD and law enforcement groups conducted undercover and surveillance actions of the gangland mobs in the 1920s, '30s, '40s, '50s and beyond. They have watched, infiltrated and collected intelligence on "hippies" and the radical groups of the '60s and '70s, including the Weather Underground, Black Panthers and white supremacists -- even today's drug and street gangs, all composed of "innocent citizens." All of those actions over the years have proved effective in bringing to justice those responsible for criminal activities or potential criminal activities.

As long as there are individuals or groups, citizens or not, who agitate to commit crimes, there will be and should be intelligence-gathering among them. If they're not breaking the law or planning on breaking the law, those under surveillance shouldn't worry. Let the NYPD do its job to protect us!

Orlando T. Maione, Stony Brook