Manchester Attack Heightens Security Across New York
In the wake of the terrorist attack on Manchester, New York City Police have stepped up counter-terrorism efforts around Madison Square Garden and other high-profile locations. Authorities closer to home are also on heightened alert.
New York City Police Department spokesman J. Peter Donald says citizens in the Big Apple may see "heavy weapons teams," explosive detection dogs and counterterrorism officers. Authorities also are conducting random bag checks at New York City transit locations.
Police Commissioner James O'Neill tweeted that the NYPD is closely monitoring the events in Manchester to "determine any possible implications" for the city.
150 miles to the north, Albany thankfully has not suffered any acts of terror. Nevertheless, Albany Police Detective Lt. Brian Hogan offers residents some reassurance. "We have a longstanding relationship working with all of the venues in the city of Albany, and will definitely work together to make the events here safe and enjoyable for everyone. If we need to look toward changes, we will definitely do that."
CDTA Communications Manager Jaime Watson says the authority is keeping an eye on world events. "Both our bus service and over at the Rensselaer rail station we are operating under our normal security procedures. We do have a number of security measures that are in place as part of our normal security status at the rail station and on our buses. Our folks over at the rail station, employees, tenants, contractors, they're trained to if they see something, say something. So, even though we are not on a heightened alert, at the rail station or on our buses, our folks are trained for situations like this to report anything that they see that may be out of the norm."
Watson adds that daily vigilance is augmented. "We have security guards that are positioned overnight. We have periodic visits from various law enforcement agencies that just pop in, to check in to make sure things are going OK and that's Amtrak police, state police, Rensselaer PD, and those visits happen any time of the day any time of the week, so we're never really at a point where we are kinda in 'relaxed mode,' if you will, either on our buses or at the train station."
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted he was "heartbroken by the horrific explosion in Manchester," adding that "As a precaution, state law enforcement will step up security and patrols."
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy is deeply saddened by the Manchester bombing. "You know people are just going to the concert to have a good time, to enjoy a night, to forget about your daily problems or just get away from your daily life, and to have a suicide bomber do this, it's the most terrible act you could commit. My heart and prayers go out to the people in England to the families that lost the 22 people and to the injured 59 others that got hurt in this horrific bombing."
Dave Lucas: "Is there any talk amongst city and county officials regarding ensuring the safety of residents here?"
Dan McCoy: "We always come up with a contingency plan and obviously we added layers of security at our Times Union Center already, about a year ago we put the detectors in. Unfortunately it's the times that we're in, but this is how you let terrorists win. You can't be afraid to go into public places, you can't be afraid to go see concerts, you have to still always go out, and stay vigilant, for people in the crowd. But it's like what happened in Boston with the marathon. You can’t cancel the marathon the following year, you have to carry it on or they win. We have taken the proper steps here and continue to evaluate our security for all of our buildings."
With the summer tourism and concert season about to begin, Cuomo says he's also directed state law enforcement officials to step up security and patrols at high-profile locations statewide. That includes airports, bridges, tunnels and mass transit systems.