A NYPD unit consisting of counterterrorism and protest cops will be launched in the next few months, equipping police officers with high tech equipment aimed at dealing with disorder from members of the public.
The NYPD will launch a unit of 350 cops to handle both counterterrorism and protests — riding vehicles equipped with machine guns and riot gear — under a re-engineering plan to be rolled out over the coming months.
The Strategic Response Group, or SRG, will be devoted to “advanced disorder control and counterterrorism protection,” responding to the sort of demonstrations that erupted after the Eric Garner grand jury decision and also events like the recent Paris terror attacks.
“It will be equipped and trained in ways that our normal patrol officers are not,” Commissioner Bill Bratton said Thursday.
“It will be equipped with all the extra heavy protective gear, with the long rifles and the machine guns that are unfortunately sometimes necessary in these instances.”
The department will do away with the current system that pulls cops off regular assignments to provide a beefed-up presence at certain hot spots in “critical incident” vehicles.
The unit, which will be operational by summer, will be assigned to the Counterterrorism Bureau.