On Nov. 9, I attended the First Precinct Financial Area Security Council meeting at the NYPD Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center (LMSCC) in New York City.
The First Precinct Financial Area Security Council is primarily composed of active and retired law enforcement officials in collaboration with private security professionals. These individuals network and share security information to safeguard lower Manhattan, as well as New York City.
This council is a model venue that is building partnerships that are critical to protecting the city.
The LMSCC was the perfect location for the event as it is essential to counterterrorism, the topic of the meeting.
NYPD Counterterrorism: A Robust Commitment
NYPD Inspector Joseph A. Gallucci, a counterterrorism authority was the featured speaker. His insights, experience, and knowledge painted a picture of NYPD counterterrorism initiatives.
These initiatives, detailed as open source information on the NYPD official website, include the following:
Counterterrorism Deployments: The Department’s strategic counterterrorism deployments include: Hercules, Transit Operational Response Canine Heavy Weapons (TORCH), and teams of Emergency Service Unit officers with heavy weapons. These individuals protect landmarks, critical infrastructure, transportation hubs, and mass gatherings. Counterterrorism initiatives also include Critical Response Command (CRC), with uniformed highly-trained officers who meet as massive show of force at strategic locations in to protect the city. They fall under the leadership of Chief James R. Waters, personally involved with their selection, training, and deployment. Chief Waters is one of countless NYPD officials deserving admiration for his unwavering dedication to keeping New Yorkers safe. The CRC is made up of over 500 elite officers and superiors.
Counterterrorism Division: This includes the following:
- The Technology and Construction Section, involved with counterterrorism projects, such as the LMSCC.
- The Training Section, which provides leadership for counterterrorism training to the patrol force, other law enforcement agencies, and private sector entities.
- The Threat Reduction Infrastructure Protection Section (TRIPS) which identifies and develops protective strategies for critical infrastructure sites.
- The Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Section researches and tests emerging technologies for detection and prevention.
- The Maritime Team which is responsible for researching and developing systems and programs to increase harbor security.
- The Emergency Preparedness and Exercise Section is the Department’s interface with the New York City Office of Emergency Management.
Joint Terrorist Task Force (JTTF): NYPD detectives partner with FBI agents on terrorism investigations in the New York metro area and around the world.
Lower Manhattan Security Initiative (LMSI): The project, managed at the LMSCC, is designed to detect threats and perform pre-operational terrorist surveillance south of Canal Street in Lower Manhattan. LMSI combines an increased police presence with technology to accomplish its mission. At the heart of this initiative is the public-private partnership fostered amongst the NYPD, private entities, and public agencies in Lower Manhattan to enhance information sharing to defend the nation’s financial capital.
Terrorism Threat Analysis Group: The Terrorism Threat Analysis Group (TTAG) performs strategic intelligence analysis and disseminates this information, both open-source and classified, to the appropriate recipients in the NYPD, private sector, intelligence community, and other law enforcement agencies.
NYPD SHIELD: America’s public-private collaboration model. It provides training and information sharing through numerous methods including:
- Intelligence and Analysis Briefings
- Counterterrorism training
- Website postings and documents
- Informal conferrals with Patrol Borough Counterterrorism coordinators
- Alert email messages to members
- Conferences that often include over 500 participants
Operation Sentry: A multi-regional, multi-agency coalition designed by the NYPD Intelligence Division to help detect potential terror threats. On Tuesday, Nov. 15, I was privileged to attend their tenth annual conference at One Police Plaza in Manhattan, the headquarters of the NYPD. The event was attended by over 250 law enforcement officials from throughout the United States and numerous other countries. Topics included lessons learned from the San Bernardino attack, attacks on police officers in Baton Rouge and Texas, cyber-threats, and the recent Chelsea bombing in New York City. An overview of terrorism incidents world-wide was identified with insights on their propaganda, recruitment, indoctrination, mentality, and attack methods.
Terrorism Awareness and Prevention
Information sharing with public and private professionals, as well as with the community, is critical to terrorism awareness and prevention.
During the last two years of articles for the Epoch Times, and in my presentations nationwide since 911, I continually encourage collaboration between the police, private security, and the community.
This is emphasized in my article titled “America, Wake Up: Harden Your Soft Targets,” published in the Jan. 7, 2016 edition:
“These are challenging times for police, private security, and citizens, but we must rise to the occasion to prevent all acts of violence with an unwavering dedication to collaboration.”
During this year’s Veterans Day Parade on Fifth Avenue, the dedication of the NYPD Counterterrorism bureau was once again evident. Officers, including the CRC, were a deterrent, visible at key locations throughout the parade route.
The NYPD is dedicated to protecting New York City but all of us must work together.
This is our country and these are our communities that deserve security, safety, and protection.
Each of us has a responsibility to have our eyes wide open, enhance our unity of effort, and to live by the mantra, “If you see something, say something.”
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.