NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There is once again a high terror alert in New York City. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Tuesday they are taking no chances that an attack similar to the Boston Marathon bombings could happen here.
The city’s anti-terrorism slogan has always been if you see something say something, and people have been responding in droves, keeping the NYPD busy with dozens and dozens of reports of suspicious packages, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported.
“We asked the public to be vigilant, particularly as far as packages are concerned, and in doing that and after yesterday’s events we anticipated that it would be an increase in reports of suspicious packages and indeed there was,” Kelly said.
In the 24 hours after the Boston attack, NYPD bomb squad detectives responded to 77 reports of suspicious packages — the norm is 21 — all across the city. It is evidence of the alarm New Yorkers are feeling these days.
“It’s scary, scary … You don’t know what’s going to happen, so it’s scary,” one person said.
“I’ll feel safer when the bomber is caught,” resident Christian Davis added.
Above and below ground, thousands of uniformed and undercover officials patrolled the streets, subways, buses, ferries, airports and bridges. Vapor dogs joined bomb-sniffing dogs to help guard economic buildings and monuments.
“We have increased our coverage in the subways. We have the second largest transit system in the world. Five million people a day travel the system. We are doing bag searches in the system,” Kelly said.
Police set up security stations, pulling commuters aside for random checks for explosives in bags.
“I’m not really even sure what they just did there, but if they just tried to take a sample off my strap, I’m not sure that that’s going to detect any type of device,” commuter John Ralph said.
“Just the world we live in I guess. We have to adapt to it,” commuter Michael Hill added.
Bloomberg said security in New York City will remain tight until authorities know more about what happened in Boston.
“For more than 230 years Americans have fought and died to defend the freedoms that shaped the Declaration of Independence. No foreign power, no domestic faction and no terrorist group has even stopped the march of freedom in this country — and it never will,” Bloomberg said.
The NYPD isn’t aware of any specific threats against the city after the explosions at the Boston Marathon, but Bloomberg stressed the city is taking precautions.
“Since yesterday afternoon, we have fully mobilized our resources to protect New Yorkers from any related threats that might emerge,” Bloomberg told reporters Tuesday during a news conference.