NEW YORK — New Yorkers commuted to work Tuesday under heightened security conditions in the aftermath of the bombings that struck Boston on Monday. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said enhanced security measures would continue for the short term until more is learned about who perpetrated the Boston attack.
Mayor Bloomberg said the city has fully mobilized its resources to protect residents from any threat related to the Boston attack that might emerge.
"Over the past 11 years, we have built the world’s largest and most sophisticated local counter-terrorism operation. We have dedicated a thousand members of the NYPD to counter-terrorism duties and we have given them the tools and the training that they need to do their jobs," Bloomberg said.
Speaking at a news conference with the American, New York and Boston flags behind him, Mayor Bloomberg urged New Yorkers to go about their normal routines but remain vigilant. The billionaire politician, who forgoes a daily chauffeured ride to work, said he took the subway to work as normal Tuesday morning.
New York’s transit system shuttles 5 million commuters each day. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said police coverage on the subway has been increased, as well as at iconic tourist sites such as the Empire State Building.
Police checked trucks and other vehicles at the city’s bridges and tunnels, while at major commuting hubs, police and security personnel were out in force. On subway platforms, large garbage bins were covered by plastic bags to signal they had been taken out of service.
Having been through the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, many New Yorkers said their thoughts were with the people of Boston. One woman expressed concern that such incidents are becoming more frequent in the United States.
"I was really shocked. It's like the U.S. isn't the U.S. anymore. This is what we hear happens in Palestine and Baghdad, all the suicide bombings and side-street bombings, and all of a sudden it's happening here, in our own backyard," she said.
In a few days, New York is expected to host two runs. One is in Central Park and the other in lower Manhattan that is intended to raise awareness of the 9/11 Memorial. The mayor and police commissioner said they would re-evaluate the events in light of the attack on the Boston Marathon.