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NEW YORK — A tense election cycle, and a tense 2020, begin to conclude with a historic election night, and nobody knows what to expect.

For that reason, business owners are getting ready, boarding up windows ahead of any potential unrest after the outcome of election night, even if a winner isn’t yet apparent.

The NYPD is especially on alert.

Capt. Tarik Sheppard met with his team of Rapid Response officers.

“Expect anything,” he told his team. “Could be some long nights.”

PIX11 went inside that special meeting with the department’s Rapid Response team as officers went over their checklist, confirming the team has everything in place for the days ahead.

The men and women know first-hand how quickly things can escalate, and it’s their job to turn things around.

The NYPD is promising beefed up security throughout the entire city on Election Day and as needed in the days after.

Chief of Department Terence Monahan ensured the safety of all voters. It’s the department’s top priority.

“We are ready,” he said. “There are going to be thousands of officers out there. We have great intelligence work. We do not expect to see any repeat of what we saw earlier this year,” referencing some protests that turned into riots and looting earlier this year.

Still, many businesses are doing their own thing, protecting their property—even luxury high rise apartment buildings like Greenwich Lane on West 11th Street hired private security, all in an effort to be prepared for whatever comes Tuesday night and beyond.