Nassau and Suffolk counties are stepping up law enforcement efforts for the holiday weekend, officials announced Thursday.
While people are out enjoying the July Fourth weekend, police will be “out in force, intensifying anti-terror patrols, monitoring social media and cracking down on drunken drivers,” Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter said at a Thursday afternoon news conference on Operation Independence Weekend in Mineola.
Officers from Nassau’s bureau of special operations and criminal intelligence response team will patrol local malls and large gathering places, Mangano said.
The ramped-up patrols come as a precaution after Tuesday’s deadly attack at the Istanbul airport, though Mangano and Krumpter said Nassau faces no known terror threat.
Nevertheless, Mangano urged Nassau residents to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police.
The department also will be monitoring social media to identify “suspicious, violent, threatening posts” that could be critical to preventing violent crimes and terror attacks, Krumpter said.
In Suffolk County, authorities said Thursday at a news conference that they also were stepping up law enforcement efforts over the holiday weekend.
Suffolk Chief of Department Stuart Cameron said those steps included training police for rapid deployment to handle active shooters and increasing the department’s partnerships with the private sector.
Cameron announced the department’s new counterterrorism program called SCPD Shield. The new initiative, which Cameron said was similar to the NYPD Shield program, would team police with security directors countywide to protect “soft targets” such as hotels and nightclubs.
Through the program, law enforcement agencies and business owners would partner, with police teaching the businesses how to protect their facilities.
“I can assure you that the Suffolk County police are best prepared for these events, and, in fact, probably better prepared than many agencies across the country,” Cameron said.
Suffolk officials also asked residents to be aware and look out for suspicious activities during the holiday weekend.
Officials asked citizens to enjoy and be safe over the holiday, as well as to refrain from driving either a car or boat after drinking alcohol. Police will dispatch additional car and boat patrols to “identify and apprehend those that violate the law.”
“If you don’t care about your own life, please care about our other motorists and pedestrians,” Mangano said.
Two additional officers will assist every Nassau precinct, Krumpter said, along with the extra DWI patrols.
Officers in Nassau’s Asset Forfeiture and Intelligence Unit also will be working “to ensure the safety of all residents,” officials said.