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National Guard patrols added to Penn Station

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Pataki made the announcement, which doubled the number of National Guard on duty, at a...

An extra contingent of National Guard troops has been assigned to Penn Station by order of Gov. George Pataki to supplement those already on duty with Amtrak police.

Pataki made the announcement, which doubled the number of National Guard on duty, at a news conference at Penn Station on the West Side of Manhattan Sunday. The Long Island Rail Road and a number of subway lines serve riders at the busy station on 33rd Street and Seventh Avenue.

Pataki said his order was not as result of any specific threat of terrorism but in response to what he called “concerns raised regarding the adequacy of overall security at Penn Station.”

The 40 new Guard members are based at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn.

The governor said the new Guard members would be assigned to work directly with the police of Amtrak, which owns the railroad station. The National Guard, which already had been assigned to the station, are to make up patrols guarding the station and its adjacent subway stations as they have been doing.

“Since 9/11 we have called upon our National Guard force like never before to support both our Homeland Security operation and military objectives overseas, and they have risen to every challenge,” Pataki said.

“As their commander-in-chief, I couldn’t be prouder of the dedication and professionalism our troops have shown during every mission and have every confidence that this deployment will be no different.”

In the aftermath of Sept. 11, armed National Guard troops have been supporting NYPD, Transit and Port Authority police at Manhattan’s two major rail stations, airports and bridges and tunnels. In addition, the governor also activated troops to support security operations at nuclear power plants, a mission that is still going on, and had sent them to security posts at and around the World Trade Center and at 18 other airports across the state.

There are at present more than 2,100 New York National Guard members on duty in state and federal missions.

--Philip Newman

Posted 7:15 pm, October 10, 2011
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