(NEW YORK) — New York City is typically high on any list of possible terror targets for big public holidays and national events, but this year’s election brings an added need for security as the two top presidential candidates will have their election night parties blocks away from one another.
This is the first time in over 70 years that both major-party presidential nominees will be in New York City on election night, and the city’s police force is preparing in kind.
NYPD Police Chief of Department Carlos Gomez said the city is planning to deploy more police Tuesday than on any previous Election Day, with “more than double than our previous high.” He said more than 5,000 officers will work on Tuesday but would not give a specific number.
The police deployment plan will be “comparable to New Year’s Eve and when Pope Francis visited last year,” he said.
NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller addressed alleged ISIS threats around the election, but dismissed them as par for the course.
“ISIS puts out these threats widely over their social media before many events,” Miller said. “We’ve seen them before holidays; we’ve seen them before special events. This is part of their M.O.”
“We’ve come to a place where we take these things in stride and almost expect them,” he said.
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said police are “constantly monitoring” for terror threats but have found “nothing specific, nothing credible” ahead of Tuesday.
The city’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, said police will be at each of the city’s 1,200 polling places which are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Beyond that, de Blasio said, “We have beefed up our ability to handle multiple sites simultaneously,” a capacity that will clearly be needed Tuesday night when Clinton holds her campaign event at the Javits Center and Trump holds his at the Hilton hotel in Midtown.
Former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said, “There’s no department better prepared to handle it.”
“I think they’re well prepared to handle any contingency, and there’s no indication that there’s going to be anything different,” said Kelly, who is now an ABC News contributor.
Kelly pointed to the NYPD’s regular handling of major events throughout the year, such as the General Assembly of the United Nations when more than 100 heads of state descend upon the city.
The NYPD prepared its plans “jointly” with the Secret Service, which is charged with protecting the presidential candidates, said representatives from both agencies.
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