The NYPD is taking every step it can to secure the subway system following terrorist attacks in Paris, police officials said Monday.
Measures to protect commuters include explosion-detecting canine teams, patrols by the department’s anti-terrorism unit, and bag checks.
Heavily armed cops from the Emergency Service unit are also being paired with canines in joint deployments, and plainclothes officers are being deployed to prevent terrorism as well.
Vincent Coogan, a deputy chief at the transit bureau, said the NYPD is working with security and law-enforcement officials at the MTA, New Jersey Transit, the TSA, and Amtrak.
“We also work hand in hand with our department’s newly established critical response command, compromised of hundreds of highly trained and equipped officers to secure high-profile locations and respond to threats,” said Coogan at the MTA’s transit committee meeting.
He thanked riders for being patient if they are screened for security reasons, or if cops need to inspect a train.
“We remain vigilant and secure in our subways in light of the attacks in Paris,” Coogan added.
The MTA police, which patrols Metro-North and LIRR stations and trains, has also stepped up enforcement and surveillance.
Canine teams and heavily armed cops are focusing on giving extra security at Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal, as well as other major stations.
Passengers may experience random bag checks as well, and riders are asked to be vigilant and report anything suspicious.
“These procedures should not cause, and have not caused, any significant delays,” said MTA spokeswoman Meredith Daniels.
Ron Titas, a 37-year-old Brooklyn subway rider who works in construction, says he thinks the city’s transit network will be targeted.
“It’s a catastrophic situation waiting to happen, you can feel the tension on the street and in the subway. I’ve been saying it for awhile and I’ll say it again, we’re next,” he said. “I’m always on the lookout now.”
Other commuters weren’t fazed by the terrorist attacks overseas, and said they appreciated the extra police presence.
“It affects me because I feel for the people in Paris, but I really believe that couldn’t happen here,” said Bernadette Robinson, a 36-year-old Newark resident who works in midtown Manhattan.
“I see police everywhere with rifles and all that stuff. It’s been more hectic in the subway stations, but there’s so many police around there’s no way something could happen.”
Subway rider Mahlon Hoard, a 54-year-old musician from Bushwick, said it was important to not be led by hysteria. “I believe in people and humanity,” he said.
“Being scared of some unknown threat, no that’s not the way to be.”