New York Daily News

Updated: November 25, 2015, 8:55 PM

  

 

Union bosses say NYPD not ready for Paris-style attack, want to arm patrol cars with heavy weapons

BY ERIN DURKIN, GRAHAM RAYMAN, STEPHEN REX BROWN

ALEC TABAK FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
PBA President Patrick Lynch says every cop should be armed with assault weapons and trained to handle a terrorist attack.

Police union bigwigs served up a heaping helping of alarm on the eve of Thanksgiving, declaring the NYPD is not prepared for a Paris-style terror attack.

Regular beat cops are not ready for heavily armed bloodthirsty gunmen carrying out coordinated attacks, Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said.

“There is a soft spot in the department’s anti-terrorism plan because it is likely that the first to arrive on the scene of a Paris-style attack will be regular local patrol officers who are neither trained nor equipped to engage the terrorists,” Lynch said on the eve of one of the city’s largest gatherings.

The startling claim contradicted what NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton and Mayor de Blasio have been saying: that no city is better prepared to prevent and respond to a terrorist attack.

Lynch’s solution to the supposed terror gap is to beef up training and to arm patrol cops with assault weapons.

“Every patrol car should be a mini counter-terrorism unit with heavy weapons, ballistic vests and helmets and every officer should be fully trained to respond to a terrorist attack,” Lynch said.

RICHARD DREW/AP
A police dog patrols at Penn Station Wednesday as people prepare to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Sgt. Edward Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, echoed Lynch’s criticism in an interview¬†with the New York Observer.

“We do not feel that the training is sufficient, that the officers in the street, the first responding police cars that you will see, are adequately equipped to deal with an active shooter,” he told The Observer.

“We cannot continue to address the issue of terrorism with a hope and a prayer.”

Bratton slammed the union bossed for their scary claims as cops prepared for around 3.5 million spectators to attend the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

“I’m sorry to hear that two union leaders are demeaning their own membership,” he said during a press conference before the inflation of the colossal parade balloons.

He added he was confident all 35,000 NYPD cops are ready to “neutralize any threat they would encounter.”

Roy Richter, the President of the NYPD Captains Endowment Association, said Lynch and Mullins’ requests were simply unrealistic.

“Policing in New York City is not one-dimensional and equipping a responding sector car with an assault weapon is neither practical, or helpful in the day to day responsibilities of our patrol force,” Richter said.

The NYPD has two new units that will be staffed with 1,300 officers trained in active-shooter and terror-attack scenarios.

“I have absolute faith in the NYPD, in the devotion of our officers to deal with any threat to our people” de Blasio said.

On Nov. 13, three teams of ISIS militants carried out coordinated attacks in Paris that killed 130 people. The carnage raised concerns among officials at major cities around the world about preparedness for a similar assault.

Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association, said any debate about the issue should remain behind closed doors.

“Counter-terrorism intel is too sensitive a topic for me to discuss openly in the media so I prefer to confidentially collaborate with the department on it,” he said.