NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Mayor Bill de Blasio said although there is already a strong police presence at major venues across the city, officials will be looking into whether any changes should be made to security procedures in the wake of the deadly explosion in Manchester, England.
The NYPD tightened security at high-profile locations “out of an abundance of caution” after 22 people were killed and dozens of others were injured late Monday in the blast during an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena.
With long rifles, bulletproof vests and tactical helmets, specially trained NYPD officers, known as the Hercules team, were seen standing guard outside of Madison Square Garden and the British Consulate.
British investigators now know the explosion took place outside of the Manchester Arena ticket booth and outside the security perimeter in place to protect the crowds.
The bustling streets surrounding Madison Square Garden and heavy foot traffic into Penn Station pose an extra challenge.
“Just like we have vendors, etc. outside Madison Square Garden and other public arenas, I think we’re going to take another measure and an outside ring of security to counteract possibility of a copycat in here in New York City,” security expert Manny Gomez said.
De Blasio said the city already has a number of measures in place to protect against a similar attack and will continue refine its approach.
“There’s no perfect guarantee, we believe our defenses are very strong and we are already assessing this attack and determining different approaches we might want to take as a result of this attack,” de Blasio said. “Every attack is evaluated thoroughly including by NYPD detectives who go to the scene anywhere in the world… We’ve learned a lot from each attack and we’ve changed our approach after each attack. Literally, almost every time there is something to learn and to make an adjustment on.”
“There already has been a strong presence at major venues but where we need to beef that up we will or whether we need to deploy it somewhat differently we will,” the mayor added.
NYPD officers stationed in Europe are already in Manchester, relaying information to the counter-terrorism task force here at home. Security adjustments in the city can be made within hours or days.
“They’re on the scene typically within 24 hours. They gather information quickly, it’s transmitted back constantly as more information emerges. Our counter terrorism operation is evaluating literally from the moment something happens as all the reports come in,” the mayor said.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state is also increasing security at airports, bridges, tunnels and mass transit systems. Authorities also are conducting random bag checks at New York City transit locations. In a statement, Cuomo called the explosion “an inexplicable and abhorrent assault on our universal values as human beings.”
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill wrote on Twitter on Monday night that police are closely monitoring the events in Manchester to “determine any possible implications” for the city.
There are also stepped up patrols on Long Island, including at the Nassau Coliseum where a graduation is being held Tuesday.
“We’ve already ramped up additional securities there,” Nassau County Police Deputy Commissioner Patrick Ryder told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall. “You’ll see them around the malls today to make sure that the people are secure.”
On Tuesday evening, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez was outside Yankee Stadium where fans were gathering for the game.
Amid an increased police presence, New Yorkers said the attack in England would not keep them from living their lives.
“You can’t leave your house in fear. You gotta live your life and enjoy it,” Robbie Devries said.
The Department of Homeland Security says there is no credible threat to the U.S. at this time. Earlier this month, the State Department issued a travel alert for Europe that mentioned terrorists’ desire to focus on “high-profile” events.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)