MINEOLA (WABC) -- Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and Acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter announced Thursday that the Nassau County Police Department has purchased new rifles and is training law enforcement officers with enhanced rifle skills in preparation for an active shooter or act of terrorism, similar to what happened in San Bernardino.
Currently, only the Bureau of Special of Operations and the Emergency Services Unit are armed with rifles. Now, training and rifles will be supplied to the Special Investigations Squad, CIRT, Robbery Squad, Electronics and approximately 100 members of patrol throughout the county, which officials say is an important initiative as patrol officers are often the first responders to the scene of a crime.
"While we hope the day never comes, the Nassau County Police Department is continually training and preparing officers to combat active shooters and acts of terror," Mangano said. "To enhance response capabilities, additional Nassau County police officers are being trained and outfitted with powerful rifles that are capable of hitting their targets from long-range distances."
This past Sunday, Nassau County staged anti-terror drills at Nassau Community College in Garden City and New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury. The multi-location exercise included four village police departments (Hempstead, Garden City, Old Westbury and Old Brookville) and the state police. The exercise included an evaluation of initial response, resource deployment, incident command/management, communication coordination, inter-agency coordination, intelligence integration, medical response and investigative actions.
"The Nassau County Police Department prides itself on having some of the most well respected and professional law enforcement officers," Krumpter said. "To that end, it is imperative that we continue to provide them with the tools and training they need to help keep Nassau one of the safest counties in the nation."
Nassau County buys rifles, enhances training to prepare for active shooters, terror situations