Local police officers and the FBI are preparing for any potential terrorist attack on election day by increasing patrols and guarding polling places.
Federal officials warned Friday that al-Qaida may be preparing attacks in various locations across the country on election day. The Islamic State called for a “slaughter” of U.S. voters on election day, according to Rita Katz, director of the SITE Intelligence Group. The country’s major metropolitan areas and the FBI responded by taking measures to ensure the polls are safe, including increased foot patrols and guards posted at polling places.
“What is the security picture going to look like to average New Yorker? You’re going to see a lot of police: you’re going to see a lot of uniforms, you’re going to see a lot of marked cars, you’ll see at each and every one of these venues there will be an additional detail,” said New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill at a conference in Times Square Monday. “And some of it you won’t see. We’ll have other details out there in plainclothes too.”
New York City deployed 5,000 officers to 1,200 to polling sites Tuesday morning. Officials also deployed radiation detection teams, bomb-sniffing dogs and emergency services units. NYPD also activated its elite Critical Response Command, which specializes in neutralizing active shooters.
On the other side of the country, the Los Angeles Country Sheriff’s Department increased patrols near polls.
“We’re going to be vigilant in assuring that everybody exercises their rights, and they have a safe process doing so,” Los Angeles police Sgt. Jack Richter told Los Angeles Daily News Monday, noting that the department will be prepared for any possible terrorist attack, even though there are no “substantiated threats” so far.
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