Bay Ridge

State Senate looks at counter-terrorism

Golden, Felder to serve on new task force

September 22, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
State Sen. Marty Golden has been named by Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan to serve on the new task force. Eagle file photo by Paula Katinas
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Two Brooklyn lawmakers have been named to serve on a new task force that will look at New York state’s counter-terrorism measures and come up with ways to increase public safety.

State Sens.Marty Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-Southwest Brooklyn) and Simcha Felder (D-Borough Park-Midwood) were tapped by Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan to be members of the Senate Majority Task Force on Counterterrorism and Public Protection.

Flanagan appointed state Sen. Thomas Croci (R- Sayville) to serve as the task force’s chairman.

The eight-member task force will analyze counter-terrorism and public protection measures that have been in place since the Sept. 11 attacks 15 years ago and will make recommendations for future legislative and administrative actions.

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“We will be looking at legislation. But we’ll also be working to make sure that dollars flow to police departments and state troopers so that they have bulletproof vests and other things they need to fight terrorism and to prevent terrorism,” Golden told the Brooklyn Eagle.

Golden said he believed that the terror bombing that took place Saturday in Chelsea adds a special urgency to the task force’s mission.

“It’s a reminder that we live with this threat every day,” he told the Eagle.

The blast, which took place on West 23rd Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues, injured 29 people. The suspect, Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, was arrested in New Jersey on Monday.

The task force’s focus will be on the prevention, response and recovery responsibilities of the state. The panel will be looking at emergency preparedness plans, infrastructure protection, cyber security, school security, electrical power grid security, telecommunication security, port security and financial recovery response measures.

The panel will hold public hearings and will analyze data from a variety of sources, according to Golden. “We will definitely be holding hearings. We want to hear from our police and our state troopers,” he said.

“Despite some successes and the tremendous work of local, state and federal law enforcement officials, New York remains an ever present and real target for active terrorist groups. This task force will allow us to thoroughly review what works and what can be done better to ensure we’re doing everything in our power to keep New Yorkers safe,” Flanagan said in a statement.

Croci, who is chairman of the senate’s Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs Committee, said one of the task force’s goals will be “ensuring our first responders and law enforcement receive all of the resources necessary to respond and recover in the event of future attacks.”

“New York remains a principal target, and I fully support the formation of this new task force to improve the counter-terrorism and public protection efforts in our city and state,” Felder said.

At the conclusion of its work, the task force will issue a report on its findings and recommendations.


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