In the wake of increased terror attacks at large public venues, NYPD officers with high-power rifles will now permanently be assigned to NYC arenas Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center, NY Post reports. Each arena will have over a dozen local officers during all sports games, concerts, and other events.
A law-enforcement source told The Post, "If a report comes over that there is a shooter in a certain section, the officers will know exactly where the shooter is, instead of a visiting officer who isn’t familiar with the inside of the building." A Bronx officer added, "These cops will cut the response time because they will be permanently assigned to the venue and they know the layout of the building."
These officers will carry semiautomatic Colt M4 Commando rifles, more powerful weapons than the .9mm handguns that NYPD patrol officers are normally assigned. According to The Post's sources, they will also "be wearing special helmets, vests, gun slings, headsets and tactical uniforms."
Police Commissioner James O’Neill said that the order for increased security was given after the attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. NYPD plans to give the same treatment to Yankee Stadium, Citi Field and MCU Park this summer.