NYPD Chief of Department Carlos Gomez told reporters on Monday that the department is preparing to deploy more than 5,000 uniformed officers on election day, focusing on the city's 1,200-plus polling sites as well as both presidential candidates' Midtown party venues. "This is by far the largest election detail that the NYPD has ever had," Gomez said. "More than double the previous year, and comparable to New Years Eve and the Pope visit."
A combination of recent terrorism threats, reported voter intimidation in Virginia over the weekend, and the convergence of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the same, heavily-trafficked neighborhood have the NYPD and Secret Service on high alert. "This presents a very unique set of challenges," said NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill. "For the first time in modern memory both major party candidates will monitor the results in New York and hold election parties in Midtown."
"We've got two things going at once here," Mayor de Blasio added. "The fact that both candidates are in NYC, and then... that this campaign has generated particular concern."
"If we see any evidence of voter intimidation," he said, "we have the ability to reinforce those sites quickly and make sure that any pattern of intimidation is snuffed out immediately."
In addition to street patrols, the NYPD will stage counterterrorism officers from the city's newly-established Critical Response Command [CRC], as well as the Strategic Response Command, known among Black Lives Matter protesters who have experienced their tactics firsthand as the "goon squad."
"Our CRC was not here last year," Counterterrorism Chief Jim Waters told reporters. "We have more than tripled our capacity to protect NYC with 535 CRC people as well as 800 Strategic Response Group personnel—long gun trained, counterterrorism trained, and well-prepared to face any threat that comes toward us or any danger coming to NYC."
The NYPD's situation room will be activated with representatives from more than 50 city, state and federal agencies. The FBI's cyber team will be on call, to monitor for cyber threats in conjunction with the NYPD.
The NYPD's entire canine unit will also be deployed, as well as hundreds of traffic agents and plainclothes officers. Expect extra cops in the subway, and additional bag checks at station entrances.
Street closures are limited to midtown, around Trump Tower in the morning—when the candidate passes through—as well as the Javits Center, where the Clinton camp is gathering, and the New York Hilton, where Trump's election night event is taking place. De Blasio said that traffic will likely get worse throughout the day. "A lot of the traffic will be rush hour and into the evening," he predicted.
With the breadth of Tuesday's security plan established, Waters addressed a terrorism threat widely reported on Friday. Late last week, unidentified sources told CBS News that "U.S. intelligence has alerted joint terrorism task forces that al Qaeda could be planning attacks in three states for Monday."
"It [the threat] lacks specificity and currently the credibility and the sourcing of that information is under investigation and ongoing with no new information since last week," Waters said.
The NYPD also addressed a threat, reported over the weekend, that ISIS was using social media to urge domestic supporters to disrupt election day with polling place attacks. ABC reported that the group called on Muslims to announce they'd "come to slaughter you and smash your ballot boxes."
"ISIS puts out these threats widely over their social media before many events," said Intelligence Counterterrorism Deputy Commissioner John Miller. " We've seen them before holidays, we've seen them before special events. This is part of their M.O."
"We've come to a place where we take these things in stride and almost expect them," he added.
The NYPD didn't detail any specific planned protests or rallies, but O'Neill said there will be "enough reserve officers on duty" to address both.
"One of the reasons we're here [in Times Square]," de Blasio said, "is that we may see protests in the evening, or celebrations. Whatever it may be."