Security has been beefed up in New York City in the aftermath of twin explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon today.
NYPD Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne told WCBS 880′s Rich Lamb that the city is stepping up security at hotels, as well as other prominent locations, through deployment of the NYPD’s critical response vehicles.
Browne added that the additional security will remain until more is learned about the explosions.
Sources told CBS 2′s Marcia Kramer the main focus will be on Manhattan hotels, because that’s where the Boston explosions took place. But there will also be increased security in Times Square, where the city has had a terror alert in the past, and at shuls, monuments, landmarks like the Empire State Building and all the bridges and tunnels.
There was also expected to be heavier security at Barclays Center, where the Brooklyn Nets were set to take on Washington at 7:30 p.m., CBS 2′s Hazel Sanchez reported.
Boston Police said at least two people were killed and at least 50 wounded in the explosions.
The explosions went off within seconds of each other about three hours after the winners crossed the finish line, according to officials.
So far, it is unclear what caused the explosions in Boston and no group has claimed responsibility.
Anthony Roman of Long Island-based security consulting firm Roman & Associates told WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond that authorities in large cities are typically on the highest alert level for events like a marathon.
“They remove all of the garbage cans, the mailboxes, they weld the manhole covers shut. They have spotter teams on the roofs, sniper teams. The camera system, as I said, is robust and the software analytics, robust. And there are a tremendous number of officers and concentrated manpower placed at that scene,” Roman said.
NYPD cruisers are lined up in Times Square. Security has been beefed up in the wake of the fatal Boston Marathon explosions. (credit: Peter Haskell/WCBS 880)
According to CBS 2′s Kramer, there is a lot of significance to domestic terrorists exploding bombs this week. Monday is IRS tax deadline day, and Patriots Day in Boston. The anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing and the end of the 50-day Waco siege are on April 19. The anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting, and Adolf Hitler’s birthday are on April 20.
Following the fatal blasts, Mayor Michael Bloomberg released the following statement:
“As law enforcement authorities investigate today’s explosions in Boston, I ask all New Yorkers to keep the victims and their families in your thoughts and prayers. I have spoken with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, and the NYPD has stepped up security at strategic locations and critical infrastructure, including our subways. Some of the security steps we are taking may be noticeable, including deployment of Critical Response Vehicles and additional police personnel, and others will not be. We have 1,000 members of the NYPD assigned to counter-terrorism duties, and they – along with the entire NYPD and the investments we have made in counter-terrorism infrastructure – are being fully mobilized to protect our city,” Bloomberg said.
The NYPD has stepped up security at prominent locations around the city in the wake of the fatal Boston Marathon explosions. (credit: Peter Haskell/WCBS 880)
Bloomberg is among the local officials sending his prayers to those affected by the Boston Marathon blasts.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo also took to Twitter to offer his thoughts and prayers to the city of Boston and the entire state of Massachusetts.
City Councilman Peter Vallone posted his condolences on his Facebook page and noted that there is no credible threat against New York.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority also announced its police department will conduct additional patrols and bag inspections in the wake of the Boston explosions. The MTAPD patrols Metro-North and LIRR trains.
The transit agency released the following statement:
“All security personnel will remind all employees to be vigilant. The increased coverage will continue until we fully understand the cause of the explosions in Boston. NYPD is also on alert and indicated they will give additional attention to the subway system.”
There is also additional security on NJ TRANSIT because of the situation in Boston.
“As a result of today’s tragic events, NJ TRANSIT is currently in a heightened state of alert,” NJ TRANSIT spokesman John Durso, Jr. told WCBS 880. “There have been no specific threats made against our transit system at this time. However, as a precaution, NJ TRANSIT Police have deployed both uniformed and plain-clothes officers to further patrol our system and keep our customers safe.”
Durso urged passengers to remain alert and report any suspicious activity by calling 1-888-TIPS-NJT (1-888-847-7658).
Read more at WCBS 880.