In the wake of Tuesday’s terror attack in New York City, in which eight people were killed and at least 11 others injured, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced that security measures across New York will be enhanced.
On Tuesday night, Cuomo also ordered the spire of One World Trade Center to be lit up in red, white and blue in honor of the freedom and democracy he said that New York City stands for.
Cuomo has directed state agencies including the New York State Police, the National Guard, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to increase their security presence.
Security measures will be amped up at “high-profile” locations, including airports, bridges, tunnels and mass transit systems, and more security personnel will be deployed to high-density areas like transportation hubs and large public gatherings.
These are precautionary measures, Cuomo assured, and not a sign of a larger, looming threat.
“I am deeply saddened by the attack on New York, and I join all New Yorkers in mourning the innocent lives we lost today. New York is an international symbol of freedom and democracy, and that makes us a target for people who oppose our way of life,” Cuomo said. “I want to reassure all New Yorkers that at this point we have no evidence that today's attack is part of a wider plot involving more than one individual. Out of an abundance of caution, we are stepping up security measures at high-profile locations and large public gatherings while the investigation continues.”
The New York State Police, as well as the National Guard, have been in contact with federal officials and local law enforcement like the NYPD.
Local officials have been in touch with the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and the DHSES Watch Center has “entered enhanced monitoring mode and has increased monitoring of various large public gatherings,” as a precaution, according to the governor’s office.
Port Authority Police are also on heightened alert at all bridges, tunnels, rails, World Trade Center and other locations. Officers will be on increased patrols and will be checking bags, buses, trucks and trains.
Officials are reminding travelers to stay vigilant and to report any suspicious activities.
The MTA Police Department has also increased its patrols and surveillance, including increasing both uniformed and plainclothes officer presence at Penn Station, Grand Central Terminal and other spots along the Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road networks.
“Police canine teams and units with heavy weapons will provide extra protection as well as a noticeable sign of increased security,” the governor’s office said. “Railroad customers will also see surge patrols, increased step-on/step-off patrols of trains, and random bag checks at various locations.”
State police and National Guard members have been assigned to high-profile MTA locations for more than a year, officials said, and will continue to help secure such areas.
As always, New Yorkers are reminded that if they see something, say something. Reports can be made to the Counter Terrorism Center at the New York State Intelligence Center through the terrorism tip line at 1-866-SAFENYS (1-866-723-3697) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s also a See Something, Send Something app available for smartphones that can be downloaded at ny.gov/programs/see-something-send-something.