MTA to hire police officers trained in counterterrorism to protect rail roads, Grand Central, Penn Station

The MTA says  it plans to hire dozens of new police officers trained in counterterrorism measures to protect commuter railroads and major transit hubs like Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station. 

The Metropolitan Transporatation Authority will hire 46 police officers to patrol major hubs, the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North and Staten Island Railway, officials announced Monday. The MTA Police Department is a 700-member force whose mission is to safeguard the rail network and transit hubs. Hiring of the additional officers is expected to cost $3 million under the MTA’s 2016 budget. 

 MTA officials said police officers have been trained in countering active shooters.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo also announced Monday that the state was making a new smartphone app available for free for anyone to report suspicious activity as part of a “See Something, Send Something” campaign. 

The app allows Android or iPhone users to send a photo or a note about suspicious activity to the State Intelligence Center, which will assess the tips. It does not replace 911. 

The new initiatives come amid heightened concerns about terrorism after  the Paris attacks at a stadium, concert hall and restaurants that left more than 100 people dead.