NYPD is increasing security around holiday markets in the city after the attack in Berlin on Monday where a large tractor-trailer truck plowed into a crowd of Christmas shoppers in what appears to be a deliberate attack. At least 12 people were killed and 50 were injured in the incident, which occurred near Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church.
In response to the attack, NYPD sent almost 2,000 officers to high-profile areas on Tuesday. A police department spokesman said that the officers are “equipped with an additional level of training, heavy vests and long guns.” Officers will be focusing on busy areas with Christmas markets such as Bryant Park, Union Square and Columbus Circle. Deputy Commissioner of Counter-Terrorism John Miller said:
“We don’t see any specific credible threat either going towards the holiday season or in New York. We have made a lot of adjustments based on these kind of attacks.”
New York is not the only major city taking extra precautions after the attack. Boston Police Department stationed additional officers at a holiday market outside of City Hall Plaza, according to a spokesman. Chicago police said they were monitoring the situation in Berlin and deployed additional officers in a downtown plaza.
While police departments across the country are being extra careful, rental truck companies have been instructed to do the same. Miller said NYPD reached out to numerous agencies and asked them to alert authorities about any suspicious customer behavior. An NYPD spokesperson issued the following statement on Monday:
“The NYPD is monitoring the events in Germany and around the world today. The Department has moved highly trained teams, including the Critical Response Command, to high profile locations around New York City. In the coming days, we will look to learn more about what occurred to inform the NYPD’s operations, deployments, and training of officers.”
German authorities detained one suspect they believed to be involved in the incident. The suspect immigrated from Pakistan last year and denies any involvement in the attack. He was captured at a nearby park after he reportedly fled the scene. The Guardian reported on Tuesday evening that the man captured was no longer a suspect and has since been released.
Featured Image via Instagram/NYPD