The NYPD will dramatically beef up security around the city in the wake of the bomb explosion in Chelsea and as world leaders gather in the city for the United Nations General Assembly.
“You will see a very substantial NYPD presence this week. Bigger than ever,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Sunday.
“We would normally have an expanded presence for the United Nations General Assembly. You will see an even stronger presence now.”
The increased police presence was spurred by both the arrival of foreign dignitaries for the assembly and the bomb explosion on W. 23rd St. near Seventh Ave. at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
The blast left 29 people wounded, one of them seriously.
About three hours after the detonation, State Police officers assisting with the investigation discovered an un-exploded pressure cooker bomb four blocks away on W. 27th St.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the two devices appeared to be similar in nature.
The NYPD’s Chief of Department Carlos Gomez said drivers and straphangers alike will see increased security around the city.
Police armed with assault rifles and K-9 units will be deployed to transit hubs and randomly selected train stations, Gomez said.
“Commuters in our trains insists and will be greeted by more officers,” Gomez said. “We’ll be doing enhanced bag-checks throughout the city — not just in the hubs, we’re picking random stations throughout the city. There will be more canines in the transit system.”
“Heavy weapons teams will also assigned to our transit hubs and certain stations.”
Cuomo also directed the State Police and National Guard to deploy 1,000 officers to locations around the city.
“Just to err on the side of caution we will be deploying close to an additional 1,000 New York State Police and National Guard people to police the bus terminal, airports and subway stations,” he said.
All E, F and No. 1 trains were bypassing the 23rd St. stations, although the blast did not damage the subway or PATH station there. No. 1 trains were also skipping the 28th St. stop.
MTA Service was expected to resume as early as Monday, Cuomo said. PATH train service will resume to 23rd St. at 5 a.m. Monday.
Gomez said there were also street closures in Chelsea as investigators continued to probe the incident.
Sixth Ave. was shut down between W. 14th and W. 27th Sts. The scenes on W. 23rd and W. 27th Sts. between Sixth and Seventh Aves. also remained closed.
The police investigation caused the MTA to divert E and F trains were bypassing the 23rd St. station, though the explosion did not cause any damage
Precautions to keep international officials safe at the U.N. General Assembly were also being taken.
Steve Osman, who owns a residential building serving several consulates a block away from the UN said he has doubled the number of security guards at his property.
“There’s going to be plenty of police security in addition to Homeland Security and our security. That area is going to be on lockdown,” he said.
Osman said one of the NYPD’s elite counter terrorism teams is also doing regular passes by his property that houses consulates from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan Morroco, Portugal, Ethiopia and Greece.
“We’ve increased the number of security and we have the (NYPD’s) Hercules unit, they make regular passes by the building,” Osman said.
“Until they figure out what this unsophisticated device is that went off everyone is concerned.”