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Tri state security { March 20 2003 }

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active),0,2742278.story?coll=nyc-topheadlines-right,0,2742278.story?coll=nyc-topheadlines-right

Tri-State Govs To Residents: We Gotcha Covered

March 20, 2003, 10:34 AM EST

State police in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey have joined in a new effort to strengthen security on the commuter rail system, the governors for the three states said Thursday.

"As we all know, the war did not begin last night. It began on Sept. 11, 2001, with a vicious attack on the people of New York," New York Gov. George Pataki said at a news conference. "All three states are combining our resources to make sure the people of the region are protected and safe."

Pataki, New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey and Connecticut Gov. John G. Rowland spoke at Grand Central Terminal, with National Guard members standing behind them.

The governors said that additional National Guard and state troopers from all three states would ride the subways, Metro-North, LIRR, PATH and New Jersey Transit trains into New York City.

While stressing that there were no specific threats against New York City, Rowland said the intelligence indicates "there are threats" that are "numerous, small and nonspecific."

Pataki said he has signed an executive order that extends the law enforcement jurisdiction of New Jersey and Connecticut into New York state.

Rowland said that both undercover and uniformed state troopers would ride the trains. He said they would be armed and have the "same arrest powers" as police officers.

The governors declined to specify how many troopers would be deployed or on what trains. However, Rowland said "you will see a presence" on trains, platforms and stations.

"These steps in addition to enhanced security on New Jersey Transit will ensure passengers, commuters, that we have a safe and secure public transportation system," McGreevey said.

New York City police officers and National Guard members in camouflage uniforms, some with bomb-sniffing dogs, stood guard at various points throughout Grand Central Terminal.

Many commuters waiting for Metro-North trains in Milford, Conn., Thursday morning said they welcomed the increased security.

"I think it's good," said Mike Petry, 39, of New York. "I have no problem with uniformed security. It's a deterrent. I would feel a little safer."

But John Marr, of Milford, called the move unneccesary.

"I think we just have to live our lives and not live in fear," he said.

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