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Westchester Has Resources To Deter, Respond To Terrorism, Says Astorino

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino assured residents that the area is safe following the attack.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino assured residents that the area is safe following the attack. Video Credit: Westchester County Government

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. - Following the deadly terrorist attack in downtown Manhattan on Tuesday, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino said that law enforcement agencies in the region are offering a helping hand down in the aftermath and are prepared in the event of another incident.

A 29-year-old man drove into dozens of bicyclists, killing eight people and injuring about a dozen others blocks away from the World Trade Center in the deadliest terror attack in New York City since Sept. 11.

The attack offered “a stark reminder of where we live, not just in Westchester, where we’ve seen terrorism, but with our neighbors in New York City who have to deal with this again. It affects all of us, and we’re working hard not just to prevent future acts, but also to deal with this one," Astorino said.

Astorino said that Westchester County police officers were immediately dispatched to Manhattan to assist the NYPD on Tuesday and that officers from the area with the Joint Terrorism Task Force were assisting state and federal agencies.

“We stand ready in Westchester to help New York City in any way they need, and we are actively involved in Manhattan,” he said at a press conference Wednesday. “We’re constantly getting real-time information that affects (the region) to assess whether or not there is a continued threat in Westchester.”

Extensive counter-terrorism training began even before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Astorino said. He noted that county police officers carry radiation detecting pagers to detect a dirty bomb and both the Aviation and Marine Units are regularly deployed to conduct patrols around “critical infrastructure.”

The County Police Bomb Squad can also handle incidents that involve chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive devices.

“In today’s world, we deal with very complex issues. Policing today has changed dramatically since pre-Sept. 11. We’re dealing with acts of terror, and unfortunately, this is a part of our regular training,” Astorino said. “We can tell the people of Westchester that we have the resources, the equipment, we have the training and the dedicated law enforcement officers who are here to deter terrorism, but also to respond quickly and effectively if something should occur.”

“The strategies that we employ and the training that we provide to our police, fire and EMS is dynamic and always changing with regard to what we learn from previous incidents around the world. Our counter-terrorism preparedness is as strong as it could be.”

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