NYPD counterterrorism cops are prepared to shoot to kill to save civilian lives if an attack like the one in Paris occurs in the city, Commissioner William Bratton said Monday.
After watching more than 100 newly minted Critical Response Command officers leave for duty from their base on Randall's Island, Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio said the cops will supplement a city force of thousands ready to deal with as many as two dozen active shooter situations at once in the five boroughs.
The Paris attackers used automatic weapons and suicide bombs Friday to kill 129 civilians and wound several hundred, authorities said. The Islamic State group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, has claimed responsibility, which proved the terror group wants to kill as many as possible with no room for negotiation, Bratton said.
"Our first obligation, our first response, is try by the speed of our actions, to save as many lives as possible, to basically diminish the threat, which means taking them out before they kill others," Bratton told reporters after the 120 officers left for patrol.
The take-no-prisoners approach is the new reality NYPD officers face in order to deal with a suicidal ISIS foe, Bratton said.
"It is all about killing," Bratton said of the ISIS tactic. "It is not about negotiate, if it is negotiate, it is only to buy time to attract even more media exposure or to potentially distract from other activities that they might be seeking to engage in," the commissioner said.
On MSNBC's "Morning Joe" earlier, Bratton said the NYPD is constantly working to thwart terror attacks in a city that is among the world's top targets. The NYPD has beefed up security and staffing, including at the French consulate, France's mission to the United Nations, and Times Square.
Bratton said an NYPD team is going to Paris this week to learn about the types of arms used in the Paris attackers' suicide vests.
As de Blasio and Bratton watched, the Critical Response Command cops were dismissed by Inspector Scott Shanley and left in patrol cars and vans, the latter stocked with Colt M-4 semiautomatic long rifles. The cops will join a unit started earlier this year and composed of more than 500 officers. The unit will supplement 1,000 NYPD counterterrorism officers, 600 emergency service unit officers and 800 Strategic Response Group officers who deal with large crowds, officials said.
Bratton addressed concerns the Paris terrorists used encryption apps on smartphones to hide planning and communication from French intelligence, which he said is among the best in the world. The encryption technology allows terror groups to "go dark," he said, something that will only get worse.