Bloomberg briefs city following Boston Marathon bombing

Bloomberg briefs city following Boston Marathon bombing
By Phil Corso

Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing sparked an increased police presence throughout New York City, but there were no legitimate threats or safety concerns following the attack, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday afternoon.

The mayor stood beside Police Commissioner Ray Kelly at a news conference urging New Yorkers to go about their business as their northeastern neighbors tried to pieced together who was behind the two horrific Boston blasts that left three dead and more than 170 injured.

“We don’t know much about the motives,” Bloomberg said. “But we do know this was an act of terror.”

While there were no specific threats made against New York, Kelly said police stepped up patrols at potential targets, including the subway system.

“We are certainly engaged with the information flow with the FBI through our joint terrorism task force,” Kelly said, adding there were two city sergeants stationed in the Boston Regional Intelligence Center.

Since news broke of the Boston bombing, the police commissioner said the department has increased its focus on the city’s hotels and houses of worship while bolstering subway security. Kelly also said the NYPD received 77 suspicious package alerts since the incident – more than triple the usual number.

Kelly said the department would re-evaluate its security strategies for any future public events, including the New York City Marathon, as it typically does. He did concede, however, that open events such as marathons naturally come with a sense of vulnerability.

“We do that consistently,” Kelly said. “We try not to have a plan that looks exactly like it looked the year before.”

The Boston state flag sat at half staff Tuesday outside of City Hall, where Bloomberg said officials would continue investing in counter-terrorism efforts.

“No system is perfect and no system can eliminate the threat of an attack,” Bloomberg said. “That’s why it’s so important we continually improve the system as technology improves and allows us to expand our capabilities.”

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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