Cuomo Calls for Agencies to Bolster Terror Security

Cuomo Calls for Agencies to Bolster Terror Security

January 8, 2014, Albany - Governor Cuomo delivers the State of the State address.  File Photo

 Governor Cuomo delivers the State of the State address. File Photo

While reassuring New Yorkers that there is no “credible threat” to their public safety, but still obviously concerned by ISIS activities abroad, Gov. Andrew Cuomo late last week directed the heads of several agencies to increase security at mass transit sites across the Big Apple.

Cuomo met with legislative leaders Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan), state Senate Majority Co-Leader Dean Skelos (R-Long Island) and state Senate Majority Co-Leader Jeff Klein (D-Bronx) last Friday to announce a coordinated increase in law enforcement personnel at sites such as LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Penn Station, Grand Central Terminal and stations along the Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road.

Cuomo said government needs to “be ready, be prepared and anticipate the worst…” since the city remains a top terrorist target.

“New Yorkers should rest assured knowing that public safety is our highest priority, and we will do whatever we need to do in order to keep our communities safe,” he said.

Earlier last week, the Port Authority redeployed PAPD and K-9 resources at its facilities, including increasing bag checks and on and off train checks throughout the PATH system. The Authority has also increased PAPD presence at JFK and LaGuardia Airports, including close coordination with El Al at JFK, and has increased PAPD coverage at the agency’s bridges and tunnels, World Trade Center site, Port Authority Bus Terminal and ports.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is also operating under a heightened level of awareness, by both redeploying existing resources and adding additional overtime coverage, with the primary focus including Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal. This includes an increase in MTA Police presence both on trains and in stations, alongside increased bag checks and K-9 patrols.

Additionally, the state National Guard indicated it will increase the number of soldiers and airmen assigned to Joint Task Force Empire Shield—the National Guard security force which operates in the city.

Also, Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding, adopting protocols under which New York and New Jersey will immediately begin coordinating intelligence gathering and information sharing to defend residents and bi-state transit infrastructures against acts of terrorism.

By Michael V. Cusenza

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