Together for a Safer New York
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
week, the FBI notified the New York Police Department of a possible
terrorist threat against our City. Because familiar New York City
landmarks were named, the threat got a good deal of media attention.
I want to take this opportunity to outline what we are doing to
protect New Yorkers' security and what you can do to help.
Unfortunately, New York City receives many threats on a daily
basis. Be assured that we take each one seriously and investigate
them all. I can't disclose the details of the process, because
publicly discussing specific counter-terrorism measures would
undermine their effectiveness.
But you should know that we believe intelligence and preparedness
are the keys to stopping terrorism — and New York City is
better prepared on those fronts than ever. One of Police Commissioner
Ray Kelly's first actions was to add two new deputy commissioners
to the NYPD ranks, both of whom bring valuable experience in fighting
terrorism. Deputy Police Commissioner for Intelligence David Cohen
joins the NYPD after 35 years with the CIA. Deputy Police Commissioner
for Counter-Terrorism Frank Libutti was a highly decorated Lieutenant
General in the United States Marines, and now directs the NYPD's
prevention, training and investigation efforts for terrorist threats
directed toward New York City.
Along with new leadership, the NYPD also has received the equipment
and training needed to combat terrorism. For example, we recently
sent police officers to Israel to receive counter-terrorism instruction
that they will then use to educate our uniformed officers back
home. We've also greatly improved communication with intelligence
and law enforcement agencies at the State and Federal levels.
What can average New Yorkers do to help? Two things. First, exercise
common sense. If you see something suspicious, dial 9-1-1 and
report it to the professionals; it's their job to investigate
it, and they will. Second, keep things in perspective. If you
want to take safety measures, don't drink and drive and be sure
to wear the seat belt when you ride in a car. Follow through on
that perennial New Years Resolution and finally stop smoking.
I promise, these measures will protect the life of you and your
loved ones more than worrying about terrorism will.
There is a danger though. If we isolate ourselves from one another,
or begin to harbor baseless suspicions of our fellow New Yorkers
then we will have allowed the terrorists to win. We cannot let
our lives be dominated by fear. We're a free and open society.
That's what our enemies hate. But that's also what unites Americans
and makes us strong. These are difficult times. But we will get
through them together.#
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