NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Security was stepped up Thursday for a Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden, in the wake of the deadly bombing at a concert in Manchester, England earlier this week.
As CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported, Joel offered a moving musical tribute to the victims of the tragedy. There was no doubt emotions were still high as the concert went on.
“Disgusted with what all that going on – those guys, savages,” one passerby said.
But fans like one man who came with his son refused to be afraid.
“I have a lot of friends who are NYPD — and all the faith in the world in them,” he said.
The NYPD was out in force. Counterterrorism officers patrolled alongside the Department of Homeland Security, New York State Police, Amtrak police and Metropolitan Transportation Authority police to guard the Garden,
“I just saw them wand am ambulance driver so I feel OK,” said Kim Lewis.
There was added protection from vapor wake and explosive detection dogs, trained to sniff out body-worn explosives on moving targets in high-volume areas. It is believed the suicide bomber in Manchester carried the bomb in his backpack.
Routine detectors for radiological and chemical weapons were also on hand, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported.
NYPD officials have been in contact with law enforcement in Manchester to tailor a specific plan based on lessons learned overseas. Meanwhile, thoughts of Manchester were not far from some concertgoers’ minds.
“The thought crossed my mind, but I figure it’s New York City — they’re used to this type of performance, and they should be well-prepared for it in any event,” said Anita Campbell of Stewartsville, New Jersey.
Security was also stepped up earlier this week at Yankee Stadium and other venues.
The NYPD is working with New York State Police, the National Guard, Amtrak police, and Metropolitan Transportation Authority police because they say the layout of Madison Square Garden and Penn Station are very similar to the setup at Manchester Arena.
Fans of the Piano Man said they never had any hesitation about attending the concert Thursday night. Howard Klein of Cherry Hill, New Jersey said it marked his 86th Joel concert.
When asked if he had any hesitation about attending given the Monday night terror attack that left 22 people dead at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, Klein said: “None whatsoever, because I always find security here is excellent. The metal detectors and look at your bag last time they even checked my keychain.”
“Wouldn’t be here if I felt it was going to be a problem,” another fan said.
There have now been a total of eight arrests in connection with the Manchester concert blast so far.
Law enforcement officials carried out raids Thursday morning as they continue to search for others who may have helped suspected suicide bomber Salman Abedi plan the attack.
“This continues to be a fast-moving investigation and there has been a significant amount of activity taking place,” Chief Ian Hopkins said.
Among those in custody is Abedi’s father, who was detained in Libya, and two of Abedi’s brothers, one in Libya and another in the U.K.
British authorities said they expect to carry out more raids as they continue to peel away at the terrorist network involving Abedi.
The NYPD was in contact with authorities in Manchester this week, and tailored part of their security plan based on what they learned from the attack.
“They know it could happen, but they’re not going to let — New Yorkers are tough people,” a man said.