The New York City Police Department held a counterterrorism drill in Times Square Wednesday and comes on the heels of comments made by Police Commissioner William Bratton, who warned against a "new era" of threats against the city. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.
Recent images frighten. The New York City Police Department wanted residents to see the counterterrorism drill it ran Wednesday and be comforted.
"We're doing everything we can to ensure that this is the safest subway system in the world," said Inspector Scott Shanley with the NYPD's counterterrorism unit.
Still, with New Yorkers jittery, police gave reporters a tour of a security surge in Times Square. It's a familiar view. A row of cruisers zip down 42nd Street. Below, bag checks and bomb-sniffing dogs. Officers with automatic weapons and helmets.
"What we do, we deploy them throughout the system, every day, 24/7," Shanley said. "Sometimes, it's intelligence-driven. Other times, it's just, we're deployed to major facilities."
Police officials cautioned that there's no specific intelligence pointing to an imminent attack from the group calling itself the Islamic State.
"The threat level is of concern, and at the same time, however, we are very fortunate, as I relayed in my comments, that New York over these last 12 years, as my predecessor, Commissioner Kelly, one of his legacies that we’re building on is an incredibly sophisticated terrorism and intelligence effort and capability."
However, Governor George Pataki, who was in charge in September 2001, says security is worse than 13 years ago.
"In my view, sadly, we are more at risk of an attack today than we were after September 11th," Pataki said in an interview on the Fox Business Channel.
As for what you can do, police officials repeated the old saying: if you see something, say something.
Meanwhile, the police presence elicited different emotions for different people.
"You see mostly cops in every subways now, so that's letting you know, it's a ring a bell, they're on their feet. So New Yorkers are standing up real strong," said one resident.
"I feel rattled, because all that ISIS threatening stuff that they're doing, it makes me uncomfortable, especially in the subways," said another.
What is clear is, you can't predict where police are. An hour after our tour, we went back. In areas where there was an officer an hour earlier, there were no officers now. Officials have said they like to keep it that way.