As Election Day draws closer to its end – and the most anxiously awaited results in years – the country’s biggest city prepared for potential riots.
The New York Police Department initiated its stepped-up plan for recognizing the potential for violence early, and its officers will be “on them” all day and night.
“Our intel has gotten a lot better. Our response to getting cops out to the scene has gotten a lot better,” NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said Monday about the protests that raged in the city over the summer. “We’ve identified those who are willing to cause damage and destruction, and we will be on them. We know who they are.”
Monahan said the goal is to protect everyone’s right to vote and to protest peacefully. He asked for groups to watch over their people, too. “When you see those who are trying to turn your protest into something that it was not meant to be, to turn it into violence, that’s the time to police your own people,” he said.
The NYPD’s Strategic Response Group also is prepared. Their bike squad will be deployed and is very aware of the challenge. “Our game is always up,” Deputy Chief John J. D’Adamo, the veteran boss of the SRG, told the New York Post for a story published over the past weekend. “We’re hoping for the best this week but we’re prepared for the worst. People have gotten emboldened out there. We’re living through unprecedented times. But we’re prepared for whatever might happen.”
Businesses have boarded up in most major U.S. cities, including New York, as the nation votes in perhaps the most contentious presidential election in history.
Monahan said the department doesn’t allow for political influence.
“When we put on this uniform, we are apolitical,” he said.