Latest news and conversation around the news from Westchester, Rockland and the Hudson Valley.
BloggersSarah Armaghan Nik Bonopartis John Dyer Meghan E. Murphy Timothy O'Connor Matt Sartwell Kenneth Schachter Jillian Sederholm Christian Wade Thomas Zambito Ryan Chatelain Mae Cheng Karl de Vries Nirmal Mitra
Westchester, Putnam counterterrorism police sweeps under way during Passover, Easter holidays
With Palm Sunday, Passover and Easter coming up, local cops are again beefing up their patrols at crowded spots, such as malls and train stations.
That’s the word from Irvington Police Chief Michael Cerone, who heads up the state-designated Counter Terrorism Zone 3, which covers the two counties of Westchester and Putnam. From now through April 1, local, county and State Police will be on the lookout for people, packages and activity that could signal danger as a safety measure.
While Cerone urged the public not to worry if they see more uniformed officers out and about in public places over the next week, he also wants residents to contact police if they see anything suspicious.
During these patrols, the constant enemy is “complacency,” especially since the Dec. 14, 2012 Newtown, Conn., shootings, Cerone said.
“Just because it’s quiet doesn’t mean nothing will happen," Cerone said. "That’s when things happen.”
The patrols, known internally as taskings, take place eight times a year. The cycle of targeted holidays that get special counterterrorism attention begins with the Christmas/New Year’s season before progressing through Easter and Passover, Memorial Day, July Fourth, Labor Day, the September Jewish holidays and Thanksgiving.
“We're continuously checking all the religious facilities, malls, airports, train stations, bus stops,” Cerone said.
The religious week begins this weekend with Palm Sunday for Christians, proceeds to Passover on Monday for Jews and concludes next Sunday with Easter.