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Be Prepared, Be Very Prepared

Be Prepared, Be Very Prepared

A typical weekday morning on a NYC subway train. People sitting or standing in the subway cars on their way to work, school, or wherever else they may be headed. Some reading their newspaper, some looking at their cellphones. Maybe they’re taking a nap or just staring blankly as the train heads toward their destination.

Tuesday morning, April 12, 2022, turned out to be anything but typical for those riding on the Manhattan-bound N train around 8:30 a.m. A male passenger on the train, who is still at large as of this writing, suddenly placed a gas mask over his face, deployed a gas canister, then took a pistol and fired more than 30 rounds at terrified passengers, injuring approximately 30 people at the 36th Street subway station in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn.

The videos and images that came out in the aftermath of this horrible incident were shocking and disturbing, to say the least. People lying on the platform covered in blood, straphangers running off the train screaming in terror trying to cover their faces from the gas, including one rider who literally limped off the train onto the platform after being shot by the suspect.

Why did this happen? How did this happen? Those are questions that law enforcement will be looking into over the coming days, weeks, and months.

Here’s a question that needs to be addressed, in light of the events of Tuesday morning – What can be done, from a security standpoint, to prevent something like this from happening again?

Preparedness comes into play in any environment where security measures are needed, especially in critical locations such as airports, government buildings, and in this case, subway stations. It was revealed on the day of the subway attack that at least one camera at the 36th Street station failed to capture any footage of the incident, which NYC Mayor Eric Adams attributed to a “malfunction.”

Thankfully, other transit system video surveillance cameras are being utilized to track where the suspect might have gotten on and off the train, which will help in the investigation, but this just shows how important it is in any location, in any city - large or small – to make sure that all security systems are fully functional to thwart any potential incident.

Of course, security manpower is another factor that comes into play in light of Tuesday’s attack. This particular case brings up the question of whether or not there are enough police officers on the subway platforms or on the trains themselves to enforce the law, while at the same time, help straphangers feel less vulnerable. Again, preparedness comes into play in the aftermath of such a brazen attack.

As a lifelong New Yorker, when I first heard what happened in Brooklyn on Tuesday, I immediately had flashbacks to another Tuesday morning 21 years ago, also at around 8:30 a.m., when a plane crashed into the World Trade Center and our lives were forever changed.

Tuesday’s subway attack reiterates the point that you just don’t know when or where any kind of incident can happen. From manufacturers and suppliers to systems integrators and consultants, the security industry does its part – and quite well, I might add - in implementing the measures needed to prevent horrific incidents such as the one in Brooklyn on Tuesday from happening,

What should have been a routine Tuesday morning trip turned into a nightmare for those on board that fateful N train. Let’s hope everyone learns from this and puts security preparedness at the top of the priority list.


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