As NJ beefs up security, there’s an easy way everyone can help stop terror
TRENTON — From MetLife Stadium to NJ Transit stations, security is being stepped up around New Jersey following Tuesday afternoon's terror attack in Lower Manhattan.
Police said Sayfullo Saipov drove a rented Home Depot truck on a bike path in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon, mowing down pedestrians and bike riders. Eight people were killed including five high school classmates having a reunion in New York, including a 32-year-old man from New Milford, where he once served on the Board of Education.
The incident brought attention to security at "soft" targets for potential terrorist attacks.
"The best we can do is remind people that if you see something, say something," Ocean County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Al Della Fave said.
NJ Transit spokeswoman Lisa Torbic echoed the same advice.
"We encourage our customers to remain aware of their surroundings and to be the eyes and ears for law enforcement. If you see something, say something." The number is 1-888-TIPS-NJT or send a text to NJTPD (65873).
She said the agency continued to coordinate intelligence efforts with federal, state and regional law enforcement partners to secure the entire line.
"Counterterrorism is and remains the No. 1 mission of the NJ Transit Police Department," Torbic said.
"Middletown Township Police had an increased presence at the NJ Transit Middletown station and the NY Waterway Ferry Terminal located in Belford," spokesman Lt. Paul Bailey said. He said patrol officers routinely patrol schools, parks, shopping areas and athletic fields.
State Police spokesman Capt. Brian Polite said the agency remains in contact with local, state and federal partners as they continue to monitor the terrorist attack in New York City.
Polite did not say if any special precautions would be in place at Met Life Stadium for Thursday night's Jets game with the Buffalo Bills.
"We implement a comprehensive security plan for each event, which prioritizes the safety of both attendees and event personnel," Polite said in a statement.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey also beefed up their security presence at PATH stations, airports, bus terminals, marine terminals, bridges and tunnels.
"Some of our officers are from the counter terrorism unit. They have heavy weapons, body armor and are deployed at all Port Authority properties," Port Authority spokesman Joe Pentangelo said.
Princeton police spokesman Frederick Williams said, "We are always mindful of terror events occurring around the world and how we can learn to better protect the residents and visitors of Princeton."
“Law enforcement in Hunterdon County remains vigilant. We are working together with our local, state and federal partners to assess trends and develop information allowing for coordinated responses to any type of suspicious activity or threats. We continue to develop a broad range of public safety and counter-terrorism initiatives to keep Hunterdon County safe," Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony Kerns said.
"While we are not doing anything different, we continue to monitor and share information from local, state and homeland security that is critical to protecting our residents," Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Chris Swendeman said.
Hours after the attack, the 79th annual Toms River Halloween Parade stepped off with hundreds of people lining the street. Police Chief Mitch Little said security was already tight for the parade but extra personnel was added.
"We did put some more undercovers out, we had some help from outside agencies and we had some extra vehicles we were able to put out on the street to prevent anyone from trying to drive into the crowd," Little said.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.