After the execution-style shooting of NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjiun Liu in Brooklyn Saturday, police departments and unions in the area have responded by heightening precautionary measures, including pulling single-officer units, requiring two patrol cars on calls, strengthening bulletproof vests requirements, and encouraging “vigilance” for more ambush attacks.
According to the Newark Fraternal Order of Police President James Stewart, the Newark Police Department will be taking single officer-units off of the streets. “The Newark Fraternal Order of Police is primarily concerned with the safety of the officers in the street,” said Stewart Saturday. “In the climate we face today there is nothing more important. We are happy the Director agrees with our view and is putting the safety of the men and women in the street above all else.”
The NYPD directive canceling single-officer units provides no end date to the measure and warns officers to “remain vigilant on post” (via the Inquisitor):
“Effective immediately and until further notice, all foot posts are to be assigned in pairs. There are to be no solo foot posts citywide. All uniform members of service shall arrive and remain on post together. Meal and personal breaks will also be taken in pairs.”
Officers on patrol “should maintain a heightened level of awareness,” according to the directive, which continued, “Please remind all uniform members of the service to remain vigilant on post, and to approach all situations tactically.”
New Jersey’s Police Benevolence Association Executive VP Marc Kovar sent a message to all members Sunday encouraging officers to be on heightened alert, taking extra precautions and changing routines over the next few weeks to avoid future ambushes.
Kovar blamed the need for caution on nationwide protests which he said have created a “fever pitch of anti-police sentiment.” “This open hostility has created more tense encounters with officers even on routine incidents such as motor vehicle stops,” the PBA alert reads.
According to Newsday, Nassau and Suffolk County law enforcement have also been ordered to maintain a “heightened level of awareness” of potential threats.
The murder of the NYPD officers was followed early Sunday morning by the killing of an officer in Florida.