Police: No specific threats to LI, but officers are prepared

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Officials in Nassau and Suffolk say there are no specific threats to Long Island following the mass shooting that targeted a concert in Las Vegas, but police in both counties say they are prepared to respond in the event of a similar situation.

At least 59 people were killed and 527 were injured when a man opened fire from a window in the high-rise Mandalay Bay hotel, shooting into the crowd of concertgoers below. Counterterrorism experts say the horrific shooting presented unique challenges.

"This guy had a tactical advantage being on the 32nd floor," says Denis Monette, of the Nassau County Police Department. "People don't even know where the shots are coming from."

In a similar situation, both Nassau and Suffolk could launch their helicopters and make use of the high-resolution cameras they have on board. At 800 feet in the air, they can read license plates and zoom in on people or objects, even at night. Police also have equipment like BearCat armored vehicles that would be rolled out in the event of an active-shooter situation.

Nassau has more than 100 members on its tactical Bureau of Special Operations, and some police cars are equipped with long guns. The police cars also have tactical vests and helmets.

Suffolk's Emergency Services Unit has 50 members, and the county recently received a grant to put long guns in more patrol cars. Suffolk Police Commissioner Tim Sini says that allows officers to reduce response time.

"We prepare for the worst, we hope for the best," says acting Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder.

Police officials say they also "data-mine" on social media and elsewhere, looking for the next potential lone wolf. But as always, they’re urging the public to remember -- if you see something, say something.
 

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