In response to the declaration of a “Global Day of Jihad” by former Hamas group leader Khaled Mashal, the Nassau County Police Department issued a message to all school districts and municipalities, saying that while they’re not aware of any planned attacks, they will remain vigilant and proactively deploy resources.
Nassau County Commissioner of Police Patrick Ryder assured the public that they are actively collaborating with local, state, and federal partners to safeguard Nassau County.
“You are also an integral part of the process to prevent violence,” wrote Ryder, “Please take a moment to review your emergency response plan. Pay particular attention to arrival and departure as well as any outdoor activities and consider enhancing security at these vulnerable times. Be alert for suspicious activity and always call 911 to report it. Together we will sustain the security. Prepared is protected.”
County Executive Bruce Blakeman also addressed concerns about security on Friday, announcing measures such as the use of surveillance drones, the deployment of an additional 20 patrol cars, the presence of specialized BSO teams within the community, and the activation of Operation Overwatch.
In addition, Blakeman said the Intelligence Center is operating with a full staff, and collaborative efforts are in progress with the Special Investigations Squad along with state and federal partners for intelligence gathering. There has been an increase in aviation patrol flights, and the Mounted Unit is actively participating at rallies and various locations.
The Maritime Bureau conducted scans of canals and waterways, and Community Affairs officers maintained a visible presence on the streets. Patrol officers, known as POP Cops, are also on duty within the community.
The detective division is engaging with the community and conducting visits to various locations, while K-9 units, Community Oriented Police Enforcement teams, Criminal Intelligence Rapid Response Team, and officers assigned to the Police Athletic League are actively engaged in the community to ensure security and safety.
“Earlier this week, over 6,000 people joined me in Eisenhower Park to stand in solidarity with the people of Israel,” Blakeman said on Friday, “Together, we denounce Hamas for their heinous acts against men, women, children, and even babies. We demand justice and the release of hostages now!”
Meanwhile, Israel has issued an urgent order, telling 1.1 million people to move south, warning those north of Wadi Gaza to relocate within 24 hours. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Gaza, one of the most densely populated areas in the world, would become a “deserted island.”
The Gaza-based health ministry is reporting 1,799 people killed and 6,388 wounded in Israeli air attacks. In Israel, more than 1,300 have been killed, and at least 3,400 wounded.
Nassau County Legislator Mazi Pilip hosted a vigil in Great Neck, expressing gratitude for the support and dedication of the Nassau County Police Department in protecting citizens.
“Our Nassau County Police Department, the best in the country,” Pilip said, “They are protecting us from the above and from the ground. I promise you the statement you got from Hamas two days ago. They’re trying to freak us out to take our moral down. I promise you, Nassau County Police Department will do everything to protect our citizens here.”
She said the war shows that “they hate us more than they love their own children.”
Friday morning Nassau County Legislator Josh Lafazan introduced legislation proposing a Nassau County – Israel Commission at a press conference.
He said three of his cousins have been called up on reserve duty and he’s praying for their safety as well as his grandmother, aunts and uncles who are sheltering in place.
“The sheer barbarism of the terrorist attack from Hamas is hard to fathom,” he said, “It’s hard to think about women being brutalized, raped and tortured, it’s hard to think about wheelchair-bound senior citizens being taken hostage. It’s tough to think about babies being decapitated and a lack of humanity that is difficult to fathom but needs to be understood.”