The New York Police Department (NYPD) warns that more terrorist assaults in the U.S. are “inevitable” but notes that hundreds of heavily armed officers are well-prepared to confront the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) and other jihadists groups seeking to attack from the air, over water, and on the streets, reports ABC News.
“I think that it’s inevitable that there’ll be another attack in this country,” Chief James Waters, the NYPD’s Counterterrorism Bureau chief, told ABC News. “We are well-prepared to respond to that.”
ABC News notes:
Some 525 specially trained officers rotate shifts so that at any given time, 24/7, some 100 of them are ready to roll out with high-powered weapons, radiation detectors and bomb-sniffing Labrador Retrievers that can detect the chemicals known to be used by ISIS for its suicide explosives.
The operation is being directed by NYPD’s Critical Response Command (CRC), which sits in an undisclosed location in lower Manhattan and was formed in November 2015.
At CRC, “the feeds from more than 9,000 surveillance cameras are piped in and displayed – feeds from the Brooklyn Bridge to Times Square to inside the city’s subways,” points out ABC News.
“It gives us an optic into what goes in New York City on any given day, and it tells us an awful lot with 9,000 cameras and the license plate readers. It gives us a sense to keep our finger on the pulse of what’s happening here in the city,” declared the head of the NYPD Counterterrorism unit.
The thousands of surveillance cameras are owned by the NYPD and stakeholders, which include private entities that provide video footage to the police.
“The city should feel safe, the people, the civilians walking on the streets, they should feel safe and they should see the presence of law enforcement officers out there doing their job,” Meghann Teubner, Director of Counterterrorism Intelligence Analysis in the NYPD’s Counterterrorism Bureau, told ABC News.
As a whole, the operation being run by the Critical Response Command has been deemed a “ring of steel,” notes ABC News.
“We are constantly looking at tactics, techniques and procedures that are used at those events and how we can better prepare ourselves here in New York City,” Capt. Gene McCarthy, executive officer in the NYPD’s Critical Response Command, told ABC News, referring to the recent Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, the shootings in San Bernardino, California, and Orlando, Florida, among others.
To allay fears of Big Brother-style invasion of privacy from the 9,000-plus cameras involved in the counterterrorism initiative, Chief Waters pointed out all the lenses are placed in public areas.
“So your expectation of privacy is just that – if you’re walking down the street, or if you’re driving your car and your license plate is read,” he proclaimed “This is to protect us.”