NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New York Police Department conducted an overnight drill at a closed shopping mall last month in an attempt to prepare for a scenario similar to the mall massacre in Kenya earlier this year.
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said the intention of the drill at Kings Plaza in Brooklyn was to test officers’ ability to thwart gunmen who open fire in a public setting.
During a briefing Kelly stressed the importance in preparedness against terrorism. “This is a time for vigilance and not complacency,” he said. “The world we are in remains a very dangerous place.”
Some residents, however, said New York City has been and always will be a target for terrorists, and that threats will not stop them from going about their every day lives.
“I think living in a big city it’s always something that’s in the back of your mind,” one New Yorker told 1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten. “I try not to let it affect me in my daily life.”
Many told Baumgarten that they feel the police department has done a great job of protecting the city since the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
The NYPD claims that more than a dozen terror plots involving the city have been uncovered since Sept. 11.
The police department also released its own report on the mall attack in Kenya, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.
The assault on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi on Sept. 21 killed at least 66 people. The Somali militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was in retaliation for Kenya sending troops into Somalia.
NYPD Lt. Detective Kevin York said early intervention at the Westgate Mall would have saved more lives. “Uniformed cops waited over two hours before the police tactical team entered the building.”
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