New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly told law enforcement officials today that the terrorist attack in Mumbai last year underscores the vulnerabilities of railway stations, and he reviewed the steps the New York City Police Department is taking to fortify New York City's transit hubs and to defend the city in the event of a similar siege. Commissioner Kelly spoke at a regular meeting of the Northeast Corridor Coalition, a consortium of agencies established in 2005 to review and improve security along the Amtrak rail line between New York and Washington, D.C.
“Easy access, large, open spaces and a dense, target-rich environment are vulnerabilities that obviously exist in stations throughout the northeast corridor,” Commissioner Kelly said. “That is why we need to urgently study the devastating terrorist attack in Mumbai and try to learn from it.”
In the days following the November 2008 attack, detectives from the NYPD Intelligence Division's Overseas Liaison Unit traveled to Mumbai to assess the tactics used there by terrorists. As a result of their findings, the NYPD has trained over 200 members from its Organized Crime Control Bureau in heavy-weapons use and tactics, with additional OCCB personnel still to be trained. The OCCB members would serve as a reserve to support Emergency Service Unit officers in the event of a prolonged attack on multiple targets. Additionally, all New York City Police Academy recruits now undergo heavy-weapons familiarization courses.
The NYPD also is working with the Metropolitan Transit Authority to integrate video feeds from the MTA security camera network into the Department's Lower Manhattan Security Initiative.
Amtrak Police Department Chief John J. O'Connor and Amtrak Chief Operating Officer William Crosbie also presented at the meeting, which was attended by senior executives from the Amtrak Intelligence & Counter-Terrorism and regional divisions, as well as representatives from the Metropolitan Police Department Homeland Security Bureau, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Maryland State Police, Maryland Transportation Authority Police Department, Maryland Transit Administration, Baltimore City Police Department, the Delaware State Police, Philadelphia Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police, New Jersey Transit Police Department, New Jersey State Police and the State of New Jersey Office of Homeland Security & Preparedness. Joining Commissioner Kelly on behalf of the NYPD were Chief of Department Joseph J. Esposito, Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence David Cohen and Deputy Commissioner, Counterterrorism Richard A. Falkenrath, as well as Chief of Transit James Hall and Chief James Tuller, the Borough Commander of Patrol Bureau Manhattan South.
The New York City Police Department also collaborates with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to help secure other mass transit service in the region.