NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Flags at City Hall in Lower Manhattan were at half-staff Friday evening, as the shooting that killed five police officers in Dallas reverberated in New York.
As WCBS 880’s Kelly Waldron reported, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson met with police Commissioner Bill Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio in the wake of the Dallas massacre on Friday.READ MORE: Driver Wanted After Jeep Plows Into Family On Bronx Sidewalk; 'Car Sped Up To Hit Us,' Witness Says
Meanwhile, as CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, city leaders have ordered increased security. Although there are no specific or credible threats, steps are being taken in an abundance of precautions to protect NYPD officers in wake of the attack.
De Blasio met with Bratton and top NYPD commanders at One Police Plaza earlier Friday to formulate a strategy in light of the violence.
“An attack on our police is an attack on all of us, it is an attack on our larger society and everything we hold dear,” de Blasio said.
Police said they have received 17 threats against the lives of police officers in the last few days, and although they said most are not anything to worry about, it is no wonder that security is being ramped up in a big way after the Dallas shooting.
The ramped up security ordered by de Blasio and Bratton in the aftermath of the violence was all too visible.
There will be no more solo posts for NYPD officers until further notice following the shootings that left five Dallas officers dead and seven others injured. All officers will be paired up. Additional foot posts and other measures are also being taken.
Auxiliary police officers have also been taken off the streets because they only have nightsticks to protect themselves, not guns.
Extra security has also been set up at police precinct stations. An armed guard was seen standing in the doorway of the 17th Precinct in Midtown East.
Police vehicles have been searched for possible sabotage, and more officers with long guns were seen on city streets.
At Penn Station, the Transportation Security Administration was searching Amtrak passengers’ luggage.
“We have to continue to be vigilant,” de Blasio said.
The department will also continue to work with the Dallas Police Department and FBI to gather intelligence and see if there are any links to New York, Bratton said.
“Forty-five years in the business, never seen anything quite like it in terms of a directed attack against police officers very specifically because they were wearing a blue uniform,” Bratton said.
De Blasio said there will be a substantial police presence at all protests to keep everyone safe and also ensure officers have enough support and backup.
“We know that there are some who not only do violence but attempt to divide us further, we will not let that happen,” de Blasio said. “Even with the pain that we all feel right now, we will redouble our efforts to bring police and community together to keep our officers safe, to keep our communities safe.”
Bratton also had words for the protesters, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.
“Anyone who wants to exercise their First Amendment rights, we’re here to defend that, but there needs to be just some humanity here,” he said.
Officials tried to downplay the 17 threats to NYPD officers, even as law enforcement officials told CBS News there has been an increase in threats to officers on social media sites.
“Every threat against an NYPD officer is investigated,” Bratton said.
And on WNYC radio’s “The Brian Lehrer Show,” de Blasio tried urged New Yorkers to console police officers if they meet them.
“I want to urge all listeners whatever you feel politically recognize that our police officers are hurting today,” de Blasio said. “There’s a deep sense of connection among officers all over the country.”
He reiterated that message later saying, “The officers in Dallas were assassinated in cold blood and we know that their families are in tremendous pain right now, but it’s important to recognize that police officers and their families all over the country and in this city are feeling a very real pain as well.”READ MORE: Eric Adams: Mayoral Campaign Worker Stabbed In Bronx
Bratton said the country needs to find common ground.
“We cannot tolerate racial injustice, we cannot tolerate injustice directed against our police forces,” Bratton said.
On Twitter Friday morning, Bratton offered “prayers” for the slain and injured officers and the people of Dallas.
“Cops of @DallasPD & @dartmedia, their families & the people of Dallas are in our thoughts. Prayers for the slain & injured & healing for all,” Bratton tweeted.
As WCBS 880’s Kelly Waldron reported, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson met with police Commissioner Bill Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio in the wake of the Dallas massacre on Friday.
After meeting with de Blasio and Bratton Friday, Johnson also addressed the incidents of police violence that have sparked protest this week.
Johnson said after the meeting violence directed by police officers is never the answer. He said the role of a police officer is to protect, keep the peace and serve the community – and in most cases, that is exactly what they do.
“Any police officer who engages in excessive force does not represent all those in law enforcement,” Johnson said.
Alongside Bratton and de Blasio, Johnson publicly mourned with Dallas and said, “We are all well intended.”
But NYPD Sergeant’s Benevolent Association head Ed Mullins said he is disgusted, saddened and outraged by the attacks, WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reported.
“We bash the police, ultimately we incite riots,” Mullins said. “What’s missing is that 99.9 percent of public cops are good people trying to do what’s right and to see what occurred in Dallas, this is a rip across the country that affects every American.”
Mullins says that there needs to be more outreach in communities that have experienced violence to halt the cycle of violence.
Pat Lynch, president of the city’s Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said “much of the anger directed at police officers over the past few years has been fueled by erroneous information and inflammatory rhetoric put forward by groups and individuals whose agenda has nothing to do with justice.”
“Our elected leaders fail us when they prejudge incidents without having all the facts and disparage all law enforcement,” Lynch said. “As we go forward, we need to take an honest, hard look at everything that wrongfully inflames emotions against police officers if we are going to be able to bring police officers and the community together.”
Lynch said the city’s officers stand with the men and women of the Dallas Police Department, DART and the victims’ families.
“They did nothing to harm anyone, but instead were protecting the rights of others to be heard in protest,” Lynch said.
Meanwhile, other police departments across the Tri-State area are also taking extra precautions.
On Long Island, Nassau County officials have also stated they would be stepping up patrols near public gatherings and potential target areas in the wake of the attack. They will also be aggressively monitoring social media and urged residents to call authorities if they suspected any potential threats.
Officers will work in pairs for 36 hours.
“When we’re dealing with snipers, police officers focused on driving aren’t always necessarily focused on anything other than driving a car, so having a second set of eyes provides a degree of safety,” Acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall.
In Suffolk County, Police Commissioner Tim Sini said they have an open dialogue with community leaders.
“So if there are any demonstrations, vigils, protests, if there’s any unrest, when we have that open dialogue, we get information,” Sini said.
Police officers will also be more vigilant during protests scheduled Friday and Saturday in Newark, New Jersey, officials said.MORE NEWS: Foo Fighters Set To Rock MSG In First Full-Capacity Show In New York City Since COVID-19 Restrictions Lifted
New Haven’s police department in Connecticut is also pairing up officers who often patrol along in a cruiser, and will also make patrol patterns less predictable.