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NYPD focuses on ‘soft targets’ after mass shootings

Posted: 5:53 PM, Aug 05, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-05 19:56:30-04

The list of soft targets for terror attacks is so long, sometimes New Yorkers forget.

Malls, subways, places of worship and movie theaters are just a few examples. What happened in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio are tragic reminders.

"We always need to maintain a level of sustainment," said retired NYPD Lt. Dr. Damian Porcher. He says the department is constantly staying vigilant and working with the community. Porcher adds, however, that it's up to the community to do its part.

"We have 38,000 officers," he said. "That can in no way, shape or form fully secure a city as big as New York. 'See something, say something' will always affectively alert law enforcement."

That’s exactly what happened in April, when Marc Lamparello walked into St Patrick’s Cathedral with gas canisters, filled with gasoline and lighters he was allegedly looking to set the iconic church on fire. A parishioner told police.

“Who knows what would have happened," Porcher said. "This person was apprehended and stopped”

NYPD Counter Terrorism officers rotate 24 hours at the Cathedral. It’s a soft target that has been hardened.

“They are always there, they have gone helped us improve our security there,” said Joe Zwilling from the Archdiocese of New York.

While prayers are pouring in for these latest victims who may be far away, being on guard or on alert is the sign of the times.