Local police agencies heighten vigilance after NYC bomb blasts

WASHINGTON — Extra security measures have been put in place in D.C. and its closest suburbs following the weekend bombings in New York and New Jersey, and the arrest of bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami in New Jersey.

“When we do have something like this that happens across the country or even internationally, we do take extra measures — we’re not going to discuss that publicly,” said interim D.C. police Chief Peter Newsham.

Since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, D.C. and New York have been regarded as potential repeat targets.

“We always have to be on alert here, because it’s the nation’s capital,” Newsham said.

Police say they work closely with federal law enforcement to obtain the latest intelligence on the terror threat. Newsham said patrol officers are always kept advised of incidents, even those that occur out of town: not only about the bombings in New York and New Jersey, but also the weekend stabbings at a Minnesota shopping mall.

“We press information out to our officers by way of text messages so that they’re aware of it,” Newsham said.

Montgomery County police chief asks for alertness

Elsewhere in the area, Montgomery County police Chief Tom Manger held a community meeting in Silver Spring, Maryland, to discuss his department’s response to the New York-area bombings.

Manger said that in the wake of the explosions in New York and New Jersey, police departments nationwide got a Monday briefing from the FBI.

“The most important thing that I heard [in the briefing] was that there was no credible threat that linked that case to the D.C. area,” he said, speaking to WTOP Monday evening.

But his department wants to hear from residents if they see something suspicious or out of place.

“My advice to folks is, if you think maybe you should call, give us a call,” Manger said. “What I’m afraid of is that somebody’s going to see something and then call us later on when something happens and say, ‘Gee whiz, I saw this and I didn’t think much of it, but maybe I should have called.'”

The chief said they don’t get a lot of calls about suspicious activity, but they do get a few.

“I think that we get enough so that I believe that the message is starting to resonate more in our community,” he added.

Metro security: ‘No known credible threats’

Metro spokeswoman Sherry Ly told WTOP there are currently “no known credible threats” against D.C.’s metro system. The Metro Transit Police Department “is monitoring the ongoing investigation in New York and New Jersey and coordinating with our federal law enforcement partners,” Ly said.

Metro employees and customers are urged “to remain vigilant” and to report any suspicious activity or items immediately by calling 202-962-2121 or texting MyMTPD (696873).

WTOP’s Jack Moore contributed to this report.

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter and anchor at WTOP.

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