ISP superintendent urges increased vigilance in wake of terror attacks in New York, Minnesota

Posted at 4:31 PM, Sep 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-20 23:58:11-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- In the wake of a trio of apparent terror attacks on U.S. soil over the weekend, Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter has urged state law enforcement officers to increase their vigilance.

On Saturday, bombs went off in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood and in Seaside Park along the New Jersey shore. The New York bomb, which police said was a pressure-cooker bomb filled with shrapnel – similar to those used in the Boston Marathon bombing – injured 29 people.

Later in the day, a young Somali man walked into the Crossroads Center mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and stabbed nine people with a kitchen knife before being fatally shot by police. ISIS later claimed responsibility for the attack.

The suspect in the New York and New Jersey bombings, Ahmad Khan Rahami, was taken into custody two days later after exchanging gunfire with police. One of the officers involved in the exchange was struck by a bullet in the chest, but was saved from serious injury by his bullet-proof vest.

READ MORE | 29 injured by explosion in New York | Suspect in New York and New Jersey bombings taken into custody | Minnesota mall stabbing could be realization of terror fears | ISIS claims responsibility for Minnesota mall mass stabbing | IMPD conducts terrorism sweeps throughout the city Sunday

Indianapolis police conducted terrorism sweeps throughout the city Sunday as a precautionary measure following the attacks.

On Tuesday, ISP Supt. Doug Carter wrote a letter to the members of the Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police about what implications the terror attacks in New York, New Jersey and Minnesota have on Indiana.

"Indiana has been spared an incident of the magnitude as what was experienced this past Saturday – how long will that last?" Carter wrote. "It is not lost on me the stabbings that occurred in St. Cloud, MN, could have just as easily occurred in Lafayette, IN, a city of comparable size and equal distance away from Indianapolis as St. Cloud is from Minneapolis."

Carter said the "See Something – Say Something" mentality is what led to Rahami's capture, and so post commanders or dispatchers should be prepared to take "the next call about a critical incident or getting a call of some suspicious activity from a citizen."

That in mind, Carter urged law enforcement officers to be "constantly at the ready:"

  • Don’t rationalize that the call is probably ‘nothing.'
  • If you’re working in the FUSION Center, you could be receiving the next major tip that may prevent a catastrophic event in Indiana.
  • Be diligent in your research, follow-up on each and every tip and properly share everything you learn.
  • If you’re the road trooper receiving a radio run as the result of tip information of any source, investigate the tip as thoroughly as possible.
  • Please engage your communities like NEVER before, and share what you learn, think or feel.

Carter also encouraged officers to carry their firearms with them even when off-duty.

"We must be vigilant in the course of our duties – both on and off duty," Carter wrote. "Please be on top of your game like never before, appreciate each and every day and know that each of you matter so very much. Like you, I would hate to look back after a significant event where the loss of life was very real and wish we would have acted differently, thought differently or responded differently. One day this type of event is NOT going to be in some faraway place."