NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Tri-State Area police departments were undergoing extra training Wednesday, following the massacre that killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
In Westchester County Wednesday night, police took out a man holding three hostages. It was only a drill, but the training has taken on new urgency, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.
“We want to make sure you’re equipped as best you can be, and have all the skills you need and the training you need, God forbid, that day happens,” said Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.
The gun attack on the gay nightclub also raised particular concerns about the New York City Pride March on Sunday, June 26.
“We expect this to not be a moment where people live in fear or worry whether they should be there,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “We expect this to be the biggest outpouring of support for the LGBT community this city has ever seen.”
On Wednesday night, the NYPD honored members and supporters of its Gay Officers Action League, and worked to assure New Yorkers that every possible precaution will be in place when 2 million people line the march route.
“Not only during the parade, post parade over by the pier, you’ll also see that they’re over by the water,” said NYPD Chief of Department James O’Neill. “So there will be definitely an increased uniform and plainclothes presence.”
But police Commissioner Bill Bratton said in meetings with LGBT advocates, some have expressed concern about stepped up security at the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street and other locations, on the grounds that it might be a threat rather than a comfort.
“They thought it would be threatening to members of their community,” Bratton said. “I’m sorry, we’re there to protect you, and the idea, one of the ways we can protect you is have police visibility to prevent an act from occurring.”
Bratton said the NYPD is investigating a barrage of threats to the LGBT community, including phone calls to gay bars and threatening notes left on cars in Hell’s Kitchen.