RealNews

New York City Officials Defend Counterterror Training

New York City officials yesterday defended the level of counterterrorism training their firefighters and police officers receive after the police and fire unions contended that many of their members remained unprepared to respond to a major attack. Fire and police officials both said that they were seeking federal money to pay for more training, but that as it stood now, New York firefighters and police officers had received more counterterrorism training than their counterparts across the country. “Would we like to do more?” said Michael O’Looney, a spokesman for Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly. “Of course, and we are hoping the federal government will help us with money to do that.” In recent days, the fire and police unions have characterized the training as inadequate. At a news conference yesterday, Stephen Cassidy, the president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, blamed any lapses on the federal government, which he said had failed to follow through on promises to pay for significant improvements. “New York’s first responders have been on Code Orange for 18 months,” Mr. Cassidy said, “but yet we still do not have the training, equipment and resources necessary to protect the public. Now we are told to be ready for a potential attack that could come any day.” Full Story

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