New York City and its surrounding areas are on high alert this July 4th after the Department of Homeland Security and FBI announced America is under an increased threat of a terrorist attack. But don't fear — there's no one better prepared than Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who's increasing July 4th security measures in New York City just in case. Cuomo announced the heightened measures on Friday, as straggling New Yorkers attempted to make their way over the bridge and through the tunnels for the long, long weekend.
"We are keenly aware that New York State remains a top target for terrorists," the New York governor said in a statement. "As we celebrate with family and friends this Independence Day, I urge all New Yorkers to not only remember the freedoms that we hold dear, but also remain cautious of their surroundings and learn to recognize and report suspicious activity."
Cuomo said he directed New York's Office of Emergency Management to increase its monitoring of Fourth of July events throughout New York City and New York State. That means additional staff will be working Saturday at the New York State Watch Center, which is the 24-hour, seven-day-a-week monitoring operations for the Empire State.
At a press conference on Wednesday, New York Police Commissioner William Bratton said this year's Fourth of July may be the most extensive Independence Day, security-wise, in New York City history. The NYPD is adding nearly 10,000 police officers to the streets on Saturday, including thousands of officers solely dedicated to patrolling the area of the East River where the famous Macy's fireworks display is held. Many officers will also be wearing radiation detectors as they patrol the populated areas on foot, while radiation detectors will be used in the air and on the water, NYPD officials said Wednesday.
John Miller, the NYPD's deputy commissioner who oversees counterterrorism and intelligence, said Wednesday: "This may be potentially the most complex counterterrorism overlay for this event ever." The counterterrorism commissioner added Friday in a statement alongside Cuomo's:
Reporting suspicious activity can be crucial to maintaining the safety of all communities. If you see something, say something by calling the New York State Terrorism Tips Line at 1-866-SAFE-NYS.
Meanwhile, across the Hudson River, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has yet to issue a statement regarding the increased threat of terrorism this Fourth of July weekend. The governor and newly minted presidential candidate has, however, announced that he will be spending this weekend sleeping over Mitt Romney's summer home.
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