CENTRAL PARK — Whenever there's a new or heightened threat in New York, the presence of law enforcement is heightened. Now, though, in the wake of the greatest terror attack here since 9/11, the deployment of police is expected to be bigger than ever as the countdown is underway to the city's largest sporting event: the New York Marathon.
City leaders are stepping up police coverage for the Sunday event, but also say that in places where people congregate in general, both before and after Sunday's event, there'll be even more men and women in uniform — as well as undercover — than we're used to.
"It will be the most ever deployed at this event," said NYPD Chief of Department Carlos Gomez at a morning news conference at police headquarters. "We've more than doubled our rooftop observance teams as well as our counter sniper teams."
Sunday's police coverage for the 2.5 million supporters and 50,000 runners will be unprecedented. In the meantime, city and state law enforcement will be working together.
The number of law enforcement bodies at place where people congregate all across the metropolitan area will be doubled, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
Chief Gomez echoed his statement.
"You’ll see more officers on the trains, more officers on the platforms, you should expect more bag checks at more stations," the chief said, adding that there'll also be almost double the number of K-9 officers deployed, particularly to help detect explosives.
It's all meant to ensure that people in the city can go about business normally, without too much worry. People who spoke with PIX11 News indicated that they can do so.
"Feels good," said Manhattan resident Daniel Rosenbloom about the enhanced police presence. "Gives you a sense of security, you know?"
"I have confidence in the New York City police department," said Lupe Zarate, a native New Yorker who now lives in Honolulu, but was back to cheer on her sister in the marathon.
She said that by watching the news conference where "the mayor and the governor spoke... I just feel safe."
Still, both leaders that she cited said at the news conference that people should not feel complacent, just because they're likely to see more police for a while.
"We do ask everyone to be vigilant," Mayor Bill De Blasio said. "Be a part of the solution. Share what you know with the police. Don't think twice."