NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Police in the Tri-State area are not letting their guards down two days after the terrorist attacks in Paris.
As CBS2’s Ilana Gold reported, fans going to the Giants-Patriots game at MetLife Stadium on Sunday saw a heavy police presence. There were many layers of added security around the perimeter, in the parking lot and inside.
New Jersey State Police spokesman Sgt. Jeff Flynn said Sunday the exact number of troopers is not available because of safety concerns. The Giants kick off against the Patriots at 4:25 p.m. at MetLife Stadium.
Authorities were warning fans to not bring bags, and if it was a must, the bag has to be a clear one.
A soccer match was among the several sites targeted in Friday’s Paris attacks that killed 129 people and left hundreds other injured.
The NYPD, meanwhile, has been beefing up security across the city. Heavily armed officers have been seen in Times Square, where teams of cops have been patrolling crowds as part of an operation named “Hercules.”
“You’ll see police out in crowded public places maybe with different arms or weapons than you would normally see in greater numbers,” said NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Counterterrorism John Miller.
Police are also on guard at landmarks and sensitive locations, and they’re making their presence known at places more out of the way, including Webster Hall, an East Village concert venue.
“I never really see cops here,” said Nick Cruz, of New Dorp, Staten Island. “I certainly feel more safe about it.”
The NYPD is also doing bag checks across the city, including at subway stations.
Ready for possible threats, officers have specialized equipment and undergo intense weekly training for active shooter scenarios.
“This is not the kind of thing that is a wake-up call to New York City,” Miller said, WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reported.
“This attack has a fairly broad target set from locations involving sporting events to bars to concert halls to crowded public places — that’s a great swath of New York,” Miller said. “So what you’ll see is an increased general presence in the number and type of police you’ll see,” Miller said.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is also stepping up patrols and are, too, checking bags systemwide.
Law enforcement is warning everyone to be on high alert, asking if anyone sees something suspicious to report it.
Police are emphasizing that there have been no specified threats in the area.
One man told 1010 WINS’ Darius Radzius he feels safe but there’s always steps the city could take to protect everyone.
“We should be careful, and everybody should take a look at everybody else behind you, next to you, because people act crazy nowadays,” he said.
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton spoke Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” and ABC’s “This Week” and said targets like restaurants and entertainment venues are especially vulnerable because they cannot be constantly protected. Authorities must pick up clues of impending danger through intelligence.
“We, in many respects, have gone blind as a result of the commercialization and the selling of these devices that cannot be accessed either by the manufacturer or, more importantly, by us in law enforcement, even equipped with the search warrants and judicial authority,” Bratton said. “This is something that is going to need to be debated very quickly.”
The police commissioner says another challenge has emerged from Friday’s attacks: The attackers may have communicated through encrypted messages that cannot be monitored.
“The fact that every one of these individuals was prepared to die and was equipped with a suicide vest, that’s something we need to be aware of in terms of protecting our first responders as they go in to the situation.”
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Paris bloodshed.
Borough President Eric Adams told the New York Daily News he wants to hold drills at places where people gather. Adams is expected to announce his plan at a candlelight vigil Sunday night.
“I think I would support the drills, just like you have it in schools,” one woman told Radzius.
Rep. Peter King says there’s no immediate Islamic State threat in the United States, but all levels of intelligence gathering are examining Friday’s attacks.
“The NYPD actually has a detective full-time in Paris,” King, who sits on the House Homeland Security Committee, told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams. “He was in contact with the NYPD back here in New York almost as soon as that happened. Also, the FBI is sending over its top anti-terror teams to work with the French to help the French, but also to see if we can find anything, to see if we can find any symptoms, any evidence of what’s out there so we can anticipate in case of an attack here.”
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said intelligence and Justice Department officals told him chances of an attack like the one in Paris are lower here.
“We are better at this than the French,” Schumer told reporters, including Radzius, on Sunday. “Better at tracking, better at finding clues ahead of time.”
He said it’s evident ISIS is extending its reach, with three attacks in one week. But he says the U.S.’s strategy does not need to change.
“We’re better off attacking them in a more virulent way from the air,” the senator said.
Meanwhile at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Sunday, Monsignor Robert Ritchie opened the Mass with a prayer for those killed in the attacks.
He warned against hate and called for compassion, understanding, benevolence and love.
“There’s a lot of political steps that should be taken and military steps, but we as Chiristians, all we can do is pray,” Ritchie told Adams. “What our government does and what the governments of the world do, somebody has to do something because the unspeakable horrors are getting worse and worse, and more often and more often.”
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said getting money and resources to the NYPD and agencies fighting terror is always a battle, but the Paris attacks point out how necessary that funding is, WCBS 880’s Ginny Kosola reported.
“I work very hard to get terrorism funding so we can have detection of ISIS across the city, Gillibrand said. “It’s very important, we fight about it every year when we do appropriations, that high-risk targets like New York need to have appropriate funding.”
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