Bloomberg: No specific threats against NYC, but high alert remains
Mayor Michael Bloomberg assured New Yorkers that security is still on high alert Tuesday even though city officials received no specific threats.
Bloomberg stood with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to brief New Yorkers on the response to twin blasts at the end of Monday’s Boston Marathon.
“We prepared as if yesterday was a prelude to an attack here in New York,” Kelly said.
He mobilized counterterrorism officers and stationed police at houses of worship and landmarks like the Empire State Building.
“We’ll leave those measures in place until we learn more about what actually happened,” Bloomberg said.
Bloomberg ordered flags at half-staff Tuesday at City Hall, including a Boston flag. He also phoned Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, who he has partnered with in the past on gun issues.
The NYPD is also re-evaluating security for two weekend races, Kelly said.
They encouraged New Yorkers to phone in potential threats — the NYPD received 77 suspicious packages tips, Kelly said.
But otherwise, Bloomberg said, New Yorkers should go about their day. He took the subway to work.
“We’ve got a weekend coming up,” Bloomberg said. “There are lots of events. There’s no reason you shouldn’t go out and feel safe.”
The mayor also said the ING New York City Marathon, scheduled for Nov. 3, will continue.
Kelly said they would re-examine security for that event, too, but that perfection might never be achievable.
“A marathon is 26 miles long, so there are points of vulnerability by definition,” he said.
“As a country we may not be able to thwart every attack,” Bloomberg added. “We saw that yesterday, but we must continue to do everything we possibly can to try.”
Governor increases state security
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today that statewide, security officials also are on high alert.
“Our law enforcement agencies will remain vigilant in looking for any unusual activity, and I urge all New Yorkers to report any suspicious packages or activity to the authorities,” he said.
The New York National Guard sent 230 soldiers and airmen to boost security at transit spots like the Port Authority, Penn Station along, Grand Central Terminal and city tunnels and airports.
State police will also be patrolling MTA and Amtrak stations, he said.
The governor said counter-terrorism and state police officials spoke last night about upcoming special events and mass gatherings.
He added that Port Authority officials are evaluating security for Sunday’s 9/11 Memorial 5K Run/Walk.