RYE BROOK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Worries have been mounting about a terror threat during Fourth of July celebrations in New York City, and the NYPD is not the only agency that has added extra protection.
As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, law enforcement has also been on high alert in the suburbs.
Indeed, knowing terror can happen anywhere has agencies across our region summoning every available resource.
“There is no part of the country that should feel safe,” said U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.)
So whether people are watching fireworks with feet planted in Jersey Shore sand, or in grass on a Westchester County playing field, their safety is key.
“They’re going to see an increase in patrol,” said Rye Brook police Chief Gregory Austin, who serves as chairman of New York State Counterterrorism Zone 3 for Westchester and Putnam counties.
Austin has been spreading the word to law enforcement agencies that followers of ISIS and other terror groups have been calling for attacks during Ramadan – up through July 17 – and using social media to promote hate and violence.
At the Fourth of July event planned for Saturday in Port Chester, police will be scanning the crowd for suspicious behavior and other clues.
“A person who may be bundled up in heavy clothing — not typical for a day in July where it’s going to be in the 80s,” Austin said.
“Who knows?” said Sal Tesoro of Port Chester. “I mean, they may even leave a package and walk away from it.”
When CBS2 spoke to resident Tesoro, he had the Port Chester High School track and field all to himself.
When he returns Saturday, he will be in a crowd of neighbors for the Independence Day celebration, and he promises to be on the lookout. So does Taylor Flynn.
“I think it’ll happen anytime anywhere,” Flynn said. “As long as were prepared for stuff… keeping an eye out; making sure everybody else is safe, including yourself.”
Monmouth County, New Jersey Sheriff Shaun Golden said the threat is “very real.”
Thus, at public gatherings from Manhattan to Monmouth, people will likely see similar sweeps for explosives, canine officers, and boat patrols. Also to be expected are undercover operations, hidden cameras and Internet monitoring.
There will also be safeguarding so fireworks will ignite, but nothing else.
In New York City, 7,000 officers will be on the job as people head to the East River for fireworks. The area will also be swept with explosives, manholes will be secured, and snipers and spotters will be strategically placed.
New Jersey State Police have also stepped up patrols at Liberty State Park. Boats equipped with radiation detectors will patrol the waterways, and aerial patrols will help monitor infrastructure.