Chief-Leader
April 23, 2013

 

PBA Aids Boston Police While Mayor, Kelly Tighten Security

Response to Patriot’s Day Bombing

By MARK TOOR

PATRICK J. LYNCH: Judge provided justice.    
PATRICK J. LYNCH: Led delegation to Boston.  

As New York City was ramping up security after the bombings at the Boston Marathon, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, reciprocating for help the city received from Boston officers after 9/11, sent a canteen and a crew to staff it up to Boston.

About 10 PBA board members and regular Police Officers, working on a rotating basis, will be there as long as the Boston Police Department needs the support, union spokesman Joe Mancini said last week.

‘Returning the Favor’

“On 9/11, when our officers were needful, our brother and sister Boston police officers saw our need and responded,” said PBA President Patrick J. Lynch, who visited that city last week. “They fed us, they comforted us, they backed us up. Now it’s time for us to return the favor.”

The Port Authority Police Benevolent Association did the same thing, for the same reasons. “Boston PD was there [after 9/11], which is one reason we were in such a hurry to get up here,” Port Authority Police Officer Ray Butler, who helped to staff that canteen, told the Star-Ledger of Newark in a telephone interview. “We’ve been down the same road.”

The two canteens served hundreds of police officers, firefighters and other first-responders. In addition to nine members to operate the canteen, the PAPBA also sent its stress counselor to Boston.

At a press conference April 16, the day after the bombing in Boston, Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly described precautions they were taking to block a possibly related attack on New York City.

‘Mobilized to Protect City’

“I called [Boston] Mayor Thomas Menino and told him New York City will do everything possible to support Boston in the days ahead,” Mr. Bloomberg said, harkening as the PBA did to the support provided after the attack on the World Trade Center. “...We have fully mobilized our resources to protect New York from any threat that might emerge.”

Mr. Kelly said that although there were no specific threats to the city, “we prepared as if yesterday was a prelude to an attack on New York. That has been the standard protocol since 9/11.”

Security was stepped up at hotels, houses of worship and landmarks such as Rockefeller Center and the Empire State Building. More cops were also assigned to the subways, and they were asked to step up searches of riders’ bags.

“We ask the public to be vigilant, particularly as far as [possibly abandoned] packages are concerned,” the Police Commissioner said. “After yesterday’s events, we anticipated that there would be an increase in reports of suspicious packages, and indeed there was. We’ve had in the last 24-hour period 77 such reports. In a 24-hour period similar to this a year ago, we had 21 suspicious packages.”

Monitoring Boston Probe

Mr. Kelly said he had sent two Sergeants to the Boston Regional Intelligence Center, an organization of police and fire departments in the area, to monitor the investigation. The goal was to pick up information that would help thwart an attack here.

“We want as much information as we can get as quickly as we can get it,” Mr. Kelly said. “We get very granular information quickly. We believe and the intelligence community believes that we’re the number-one target.”

Asked by a reporter whether the NYPD would assist in the investigation, Mr. Kelly said, “If we were asked, we’d certainly be available.” But, he said, “They have a lot of good people there,”

In Albany, Governor Cuomo ordered state agencies and authorities on a heightened state of alert. State Police patrols, particularly K-9 units, increased their presence and visibility at train stations and platforms in coordination with Amtrak and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

National Guard Dispatched

The New York National Guard sent 230 soldiers and airmen to assist NYPD Counterterrorism and the MTA, and provided personnel to augment security at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, PATH stations, Penn Station, Grand Central Terminal, Amtrak, the Queens Midtown Tunnel, the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, and JFK and LaGuardia airports.

Port Authority Police increased their presence at transportation hubs and the World Trade Center site. The MTA also increased patrols by its officers.