U.S. Response to Paris Attacks

In the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, major U.S. cities are both stepping up security, and taking the opportunity to review their existing plans, according to the Wall Street Journal. Although no specific or credible threats are known at this time, authorities are proceeding with caution.

In New York City, mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday that a new counterterrorism unit, the Critical Response Command, will be based on Randall’s Island, according to the Wall Street Journal. “Make no mistake we are using every tool in our arsenal to stop the terrorists and to protect the safety of the people of this city,” de Blasio said at a press conference.

The new team, which will eventually have 560 people in it, will “be responsible for protecting critical locations across the city, and will be equipped with long range weapons, heavy-duty vests and smartphone technology,” police officials told the Journal.

This follows precautionary measures taken throughout the state. Shortly after the Paris attacks, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced state and local agencies have been placed on high alert, increasing security protocols on major transportation avenues and hubs, and that the New York State Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services will increase monitoring of large public gatherings, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In Chicago, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy has indicated the department will continue to monitor events, and "remain in constant contact with our federal and international partners to evaluate and respond to any changes in intelligence,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

Similarly, police have acted to increase security through Philadelphia and Boston, increasing patrols near critical infrastructure. A spokesman for the Boston police, Stephen McNulty, noted that the department was already active and ready, as the memory of the Boston marathon bombing remains strong. "We haven’t let our guard down,” noted McNulty to the Wall Street Journal.

On the west coast, both Los Angeles and San Francisco were also stepping up police presence, acting to enhance local security, and coordinating with state and federal authorities. Said San Francisco mayor Ed Lee to the Wall Street Journal, “we stand in solidarity with our friends in our sister city of Paris, Mayor Hidalgo and with people all across France as they struggle with the aftermath of this very dark day.”