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The NYPD’s Visible–and Invisible–Plans for July 4th Security

The NYPD’s Visible–and Invisible–Plans for July 4th Security
[Photo: Flickr user Anthony Quintano]

The last thing the NYPD wants to do is panic people as they gather to celebrate July 4th. Although they will be increasing their security presence significantly at July 4th celebrations this year in the form of rooftop snipers and radiation detectors, that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

According to Capital New York’s Azi Paybarah, the NYPD is deploying their most extensive counterterrorism presence to date for the annual Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Show. This will include counterterrorism officers on site with radiation detectors, radiation detection boats located near firework launch sites, aerial surveillance, and the aforementioned snipers–but NYPD analysts will be just as active scanning social media for talk by ISIS supporters and others.

“We will be scanning social media with our intelligence analysts. This is important because some groups, particularly ISIS, have been very active in social media,” deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism John Miller told reporters at a press conference. “This may be the most complex counterterrorism overlay for this event, ever. This is not driven by any particular event or particular threat as much as it’s driven by unfolding world events.”

Despite the arrest of a terror suspect in New Jersey on Monday, Miller said no specific threats have been made regarding either the Macy’s fireworks show or against New York City–although the NYPD and FBI have general concerns about the possibility of an IED attack on New York landmarks or against military personnel.

In recent weeks, terror attacks have taken place in France, Kuwait, Tunisia, and Egypt. However, the deadliest terror attack to take place in the U.S. in 2015 was the mass shooting at a Charleston, South Carolina, church. The gunman in that attack, Dylann Roof, was motivated by racism and white supremacist beliefs.