NYPD Stepping Up Patrols In Wake Of London Subway Explosion

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD is stepping up patrols in the wake of a terrorist incident at a subway station in London.

An improvised explosive device blew up at the Parsons Green station, injuring 22 people during Friday morning’s rush hour.

NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said there’s no direct threat to New York City but warns everyone to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings.

Counterrorism units were deployed through a bustling Times Square during rush hour.

As CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported, the show of force wasn’t anythingnew, but was meant to remind subway riders that police are watching.

“I think sometimes people don’t want to see a lot of police. They don’t want to see the long guns, and the helmets because it’s, the world that has changed, and my message is yes, the world has changed since 2001, and this is the new world we live in, and this is the way we protect New York City,” NYPD Counter-Terrorism Chief James Waters said.

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The way the NYPD protects the city in 2017, includes more officers — including the Critical Response Command and Strategic Response Group — explosive detecting K9s, random bag checks with trace detection for explosives, and very visible train inspections by the anti-terrorism unit.

“Approximately ten officers will be stationed on a platform and as a train enters a station, they’ll enter the train for a short period of time and conduct an inspection,” Chief Vincant Coogan said.

And of course there are things you don’t see.

“Our radiation detection system, our chemical detection system, our cameras, our network of cameras in the network of 12,000 plus,” Waters said.

With millions using the subway every day, they can’t check everyone, and the NYPD is once again reminding people to speak up if they see something off.

“It’s up to all 8.6-million New Yorkers to pay attention to what’s going on around them,” O’Neill said.

Friday’s show of force was a reminder that officers, uniformed and plain clothes, are also all around them.

“It’s a confidence builder for New Yorkers, for tourists, for people doing business, people riding the subway, we want them to see the good guys, we want them to see the police,” Waters said.

One man visiting from London said the extra police presence in Times Square is welcome.

“It makes me feel safe cause they’re there, that’s on the ground level we feel safe if something was to happen there’s police here,” the man told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.

Commuter Kelsey Hynds admitted after hearing about the bombing in London she was apprehensive about getting onto the subway Friday morning.

“It’s kind of nerve-racking,” Hynds said. “I looked around a lot, had my phone, I acted like my headphones were on but I was really looking around.”

Others hope what’s going on in London does not inspire any copycats at home and they’re not allowing it to impact their routine.

“Maybe it’s just isolated around that area, it’s also very far away. I wouldn’t say that has too much of an effect here,” commuter Ross Schinik said.

In a statement, Gov. Andrew Cuomo assured commuters that transit system security will be heightened out of an abundance of caution, adding “this attempt to instill fear through random violence is horrific, cowardly and a sobering reminder of the threats we face today.”

Security is also being increased at airports, bridges and tunnels.

“The safety and security of New Yorkers is our number one priority, and we remain in close contact with local and federal officials,” Cuomo said. “We remain vigilant, and we stand with the people of London.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted, “We pray for those injured in today’s terrorist attack in London and thank the brave first responders. New York City stands with London.”

Nassau County police said they are are intensifying patrols as they monitor the situation in London, but stressed there are no known imminent threats to Nassau County.

Suffolk County police also said there is no credible threat to the county, but they are increased patrols at train stations and transit hubs “and will remain extremely vigilant until further notice.”

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