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By December 2, 2015 Read More →

NYPD Sergeant’s Union President Warns of Terrorism Threats


Ed Mullins is the president of the Sergeant’s Benevolent Association in New York City

Ed Mullins, president of the NYPD’s Sergeant’s Benevolent Association, sent out this message to his members. Although New York City is obviously a serious target, this message is an important one for all law enforcement in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Dear Fellow Sergeant:

As a result of the constant threat of terrorism confronting our nation and our city, each of us is now forced to live in a perpetual state of readiness. For those of us still active and serving the city of New York, our role in policing has forever changed. Active shooters, chemical attacks and suicide bombers are all realistic options on a terrorist’s menu that we must stand to defend and respond to. The events in Paris last month confirm what we may encounter here.

Regardless of what our role is, all of our members, both active and retired, share the concern for their personal safety, the safety of the people they lead, and the safety of their families. On that fateful morning in September of 2001, the members of the NYPD learned the tremendous lengths that terrorists will go. And we certainly now know that they are looking to go beyond their past deeds.

Looking back, we were ill-equipped and nowhere near prepared for such an event and its aftermath. Yet, the men and women of the NYPD fared well in saving thousands of lives, but our actions came with a cost that we continue to dearly pay.

Our members continue to fall ill and die from 9/11 related exposures, and they live with anxieties brought about by what others might think is just a nagging little cough. We were not prepared then – and the events of recent history beckon to ask if we are prepared now. We had no escape hoods or self-contained air-packs. Nor were we decontaminated from taking foreign chemicals and biological contaminants into our homes and further exposing our own families to the perils of our profession. While serving our city and our country, we received misinformation from the likes of Christine Todd Whitman, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, when she stated the “air was safe” referring to EPA air pollution standards – not occupational safety and health standards (OSHA).

Today, we hear the NYPD is prepared. We hear that we can handle up to 24 simultaneous attacks; and the people of this city see on a daily basis heavily armed Counter Assault Teams in Manhattan, mobilizations of blaring patrol cars, and NYPD personnel wearing Counter Terrorism uniforms traveling about the city.

Impressive as it may seem, let me tell you what I see and what I have learned from speaking with many of the people in these units and on patrol. On Thanksgiving Day, from 73rd Street to the end of the parade route, I spoke with numerous officers, up to and including high-ranking members of the department. Except for our Emergency Service Personnel, all feel we are not sufficiently trained for a counter terrorism event, and all believe we need more assault rifles on patrol.

Disturbing as it may seem, the people who have been trained with either an M-4 Assault Rifle or Mini-14…DO NOT CARRY them.


Because they DO NOT HAVE THEM. One Counter Terrorism team that I recently spoke with, while they were on duty in full uniform, said they were trained but did not have any assault rifles in their vehicle. I was told we are waiting to receive them.

So apparently these weapons are not as accessible as everyone is lead to believe. But what happens if an event is more than a firefight? What if a terrorist attack turns to an incendiary chemical or biological event?

After speaking with members of the department, it is clear that our preparedness tails off exponentially. Ask yourself or a colleague, how many of you know what Sarin gas weighs or what to do during a chemical event or how to recognize being drawn into a guerilla-like ambush.

Based on past events, it is quite possible that we may face these situations. We must be adequately armed with equipment and knowledge.

I do believe the NYPD is making a sincere effort, but this effort is just not sufficient based upon the nature of today’s terrorist arsenals. In this day and age, it is hard to understand why our resources are simply not there. Why can’t we put rifles in our vehicles? This is not a call to arm everyone, to re-create the days of the old west, to create fear, or bash the NYPD or the Mayor.

This is about YOU, YOUR SAFETY, YOUR FAMILY, and providing YOU with a fighting chance to save lives and to go home safely to your families.

Why must we be reactive not proactive, especially when we have intelligence? We know the depths, capabilities and determination of our adversaries.

In an effort to help educate and better prepare our members as we move forward, we will be preparing Training Bulletins for you. We will be proactive and use our resources to help enhance your skills, awareness, safety and the safety of your family. The SBA Board of Officers has retained the expertise of a highly-respected training firm, along with previous United States military consultants that include former members of the Army Green Berets, Special Operations combat veterans, and Navy Seals Special Operations members. We will continue to seek their advice and provide you with the additional support.

When it comes to terrorism, we work on the front lines of a war. Make no mistake about it, terrorists bring warfare to our city, not crime. We know how to fight crime. We must also be able to defend and respond to warfare.

Please continue to remain vigilant and go home safely.


Ed Mullins

Posted in: Reaching Out

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