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NYPD: ‘Ample resources’ in Times Square after Barcelona attack

Heavily armed NYPD counterterrorism officers keep watch over

Heavily armed NYPD counterterrorism officers keep watch over tourists in Times Square on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017. Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner

Although Thursday’s deadly terror attack struck a Barcelona tourist destination that is similar to Times Square, the NYPD has plenty of security at that popular Manhattan location and will not be taking any additional measures, a police spokesman said.

“We already have ample resources,” Chief Timothy Trainor said about security at Times Square.

But police are shifting security resources to the Spanish mission and tourism office, Trainor said.

In Barcelona, attackers drove a van onto a sidewalk and sped down the popular Las Ramblas pedestrian mall, killing 12 and injuring 80.

The Barcelona attack echoes a deadly incident in Times Square in May in which Richard Rojas allegedly drove a vehicle onto sidewalks, killing 18-year-old tourist Alyssa Elsman of Michigan and injuring 22 others.

In response, the NYPD installed more concrete barriers along the edge of sidewalks that border streets and on sidewalks themselves to create internal barriers to vehicles. Rojas pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and attempted murder. He told police he had been smoking marijuana laced with the drug PCP, court records show.

The pedestrian area of Times Square is similar to Las Ramblas, which has street performers, expensive restaurants, kiosks and hotels. Times Square pedestrian areas are protected by metal bollards and concrete barriers.

During an impromptu news conference Thursday at Times Square, NYPD counterterrorism chief James Waters said the department had not changed its basic security posture and reiterated that shifting critical response command vehicles to Spanish government areas was done out of an “abundance of caution.”

Though the NYPD has no plans to ramp up security around Times Square, the department is in contact with its overseas liaisons to glean information about potential threats.

“We will do an assessment to determine whatever means or mechanisms were used in Barcelona. We will see if we can mitigate any potential attack or duplicity in the United States,” Trainor said.

On Long Island, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and acting Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said in a news release that local authorities are monitoring the Barcelona attack.

Although there are no known imminent threats to Nassau County, police will intensify patrols in all areas of concern.

Nassau authorities reminded people to report suspicious activity by immediately calling 911.

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