New York: New York City authorities announced on Monday that an “extraordinary” police presence will be in place on the streets on Election Day.
“Know that you are safe and well-protected,” EFE news quoted Mayor Bill de Blasio as saying at a Monday news conference, adding that “we have beefed up our ability to handle multiple sites simultaneously.”
He added that the city will not allow itself to be intimidated by any terrorist threat or anybody intending to destabilise the electoral process.
The Mayor also said that New York was cognizant of the fact that the whole world will be watching it on Election Day, particularly since for the first time in 70 years both major parties’ presidential candidates will be there on the evening of the vote amid very heavy security measures.
De Blasio emphasised the New York Police Department’s significant increase in anti-terrorism resources, in particular the deployment of 500 rapid response officers, who will play a crucial role on Election Day to provide security for voters, citizens and candidates.
He also noted the NYPD’s ability to provide security for the visit of Pope Francis last year and 170 world leaders, including President Barack Obama, for the United Nations General Assembly.
The Mayor also called upon New Yorkers to keep in mind that “if you see something, say something”, a slogan that is part of the anti-terrorism campaign.
Meanwhile, NYPD Chief Carlos Gomez said that this will be the city’s largest-ever security deployment for an election, with more than 5,000 officers stationed around the city, adding that — in cooperation with representatives from all 50 states and many federal agencies — authorities have more than three times the necessary resources to provide ample security.
He also said that certain streets in Manhattan will be blocked off between Monday and Tuesday evening, given that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have selected the Big Apple for rallies after the polls close.
“You’re going to see a lot of police,” Police Commissioner James O’Neill said, adding that “there’s going to be a lot of police in New York City and some of it you won’t see.”
O’Neill also noted that Al Qaeda had issued a threat for Election Day last Friday, adding that — although the information was non-specific — this is one of the reasons for the extra security measures.