106th Precinct trained to protect tourist sites

By Sadef Ali Kully

After the terrorist attacks in Paris on Nov. 13, the 106th Precinct, along with most precincts across the city, underwent active shooter training to be prepared to protect a major tourist attraction: Resorts World Casino.

In an interfaith meeting in December, 106th Precinct Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff spoke to residents from Muslim, Christian and Hindu backgrounds about how to report hate crimes as well as how to bring awareness to heightened security across the city.

“We don’t know who is who and the police rely on information from the community,” Schiff said.

Schiff said there was no credible threat against Resorts World Casino but because it is a tourist attraction that draws millions of visitors annually, it was prudent to be prepared.

In the November assaults in the French capital, members of ISIS struck near the sports stadium, which was followed by mass shootings at cafes, restaurants and a concert hall. The attacks left an estimated 130 dead and hundreds of people injured. The terrorist group ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.

“We don’t know who is coming next through the door and we have to be prepared,” Schiff said. “In a situation like that you can run, hide or fight.”

Resorts World Casino, located at 110-00 Rockaway Blvd. in Jamaica near the Aqueduct Racetrack, opened in 2011. It is the only casino within the five boroughs of the city. With over 5,000 games, live concerts and fine dining, the casino welcomes an estimated 35,000 visitors a day and more than 12 million a year, according to Genting Group.

“It can be a target,” Schiff said.

Resorts could not be reached for a comment.

Despite there being no credible threat against the city, police officials said the NYPD began active shooter training shortly after the attacks in Paris.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said in November that officers would be trained with “better weapons and better tactics.” The NYPD has also implemented advanced technology to improve its tactics.

According to police officials, the active shooter training is not new to the NYPD, which was trained after the 2008 Mumbai attacks in India. That siege involved 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks that lasted four days across Mumbai, killing 164 and injuring hundreds.

Schiff said Resorts World Casino has always been cooperative with the NYPD, but he would not release details for security reasons.

Reach Reporter Sadef Ali Kully by e-mail at skully@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4546.

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