Long Island law enforcement agencies have stepped up patrols at malls, railroad stations and other public gathering places following back-to-back mass shootings in Texas and Ohio over the weekend that killed 29 people and injured dozens of others.
While there’s no specific or credible threat, Suffolk police have increased their visibility at shopping centers and big-box stores like Walmart since Saturday’s shooting in El Paso, according to Suffolk Chief of Department Stuart Cameron. He said police will maintain a “large presence” at popular nightspots like Patchogue Village and Port Jefferson.
Cameron said there’s a statistically higher risk of a copycat attack in the immediate aftermath of a mass shooting, but the increased police presence is also intended to reassure the public.
“One thing we’re really cognizant of are these attacks are unsettling to people,” he said. Seeing a police car “can make people feel more comfortable while out and about.”
He said Suffolk police review every mass shooting and update training for officers in response.
“For us, preparedness is an ongoing effort,” Cameron said. “Every attack we’re studying in great detail to see if there’s something new.”
Nassau police said after the shooting in El Paso that there was no known imminent threat to the county, but that the department was intensifying patrols and working with other local, state and federal authorities "to ensure a cohesive exchange of information."
A department spokesman said Sunday, following the overnight shooting in Dayton, Ohio, that the elevated policing would continue "for the foreseeable future."
The New York Police Department’s Counterterrorism Bureau had deployed additional units “out of an abundance of caution,” though there was no specific or credible threat, according to the bureau’s official Twitter feed.
“Please don’t be alarmed if you see extra police presence,” the Saturday night tweet read.
The NYPD said Sunday that the department will “continue to monitor the developments surrounding this incident.”
Responding officers shot the Ohio gunman to death, while the Texas shooter is in custody, according to The Associated Press.