HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Nassau County police officers are getting new weapons that they’ll use in the event of a terrorist attack or active shooter situation.
Nassau County Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter said the county purchased 150 new M400 SWAT rifles to combat potential mass shootings and acts of terror.
“This is critical,” Krumpter said Thursday. “When you’re talking active shooters and the locations where they’re most likely to occur — malls, schools — you have extensive distances that are gonna have to be covered.”
Krumpter said the department trains police officers on tactical shooting at 25 meters.
“But when you start talking distance — 50, 75, 100 meters — the rifle is definitely the weapon of choice,” Krumpter said. “You look at the Roosevelt Field Mall here in Nassau County and they have corridors that are well over 100 meters.”
Two-hundred officers will undergo training, which starts Friday.
Krumpter offered his advice on cooperating with police officials during times of crisis:
“Follow police officers’ direction — don’t make sudden movements toward police officer,” Krunpter said. “The best thing you could do, keep hands in view, hands open, hands raised — because he [a police officer] doesn’t know who the threat is.”
Krumpter also said to only fight back when all other options — like running, hiding or playing dead — can’t happen.
“If it comes to that, you gotta fight with everything you got — you are fighting for your life,” he said.
Heavy armor and tactical helmets have also been added to patrol cars in the county.
Nassau County officials said they want to be ready if the unthinkable happens here.
“They are not there to take hostages and negotiate for something — they are there to murder citizens,” Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said. “So this response in terminating those active shooters as quickly as possible clearly will save lives.”