The Remarks Of Speaker Sheldon Silver

NYC Security Press Conference

New York City
Friday, September 19, 2014

Let me acknowledge the Members of the Assembly who participated in this conversation today:

Assemblyman Joe Lentol chair of our Codes Committee, Assemblyman Dick Gottfried who chairs our Health Committee, Assemblyman Jim Brennan, from Brooklyn who chairs the Corporations Committee which has jurisdiction over the MTA and Port Authority, and Assemblyman Steve Englebright who chairs our Government Operations Committee.

There is an old saying that precaution must be taken in advance.

As the assemblyman whose hometown includes the World Trade Center, I want to commend Governor Cuomo for taking the lead and working with Governor Christie to initiate a review of safety and security precautions throughout the metropolitan region.

And speaking for my community, I want to also thank Superintendent D'Amico and Commissioner Hauer for the work they have done - and are continuing to do - to keep New Yorkers safe.

New Yorkers have long known that this great international city is a top target for terrorist groups.

The 9/11 attacks taught us painful lessons about the need for vigilance; and about the need for communication and cooperation between our law enforcement and national security entities, and among all of our first responders.

As the 9/11 Museum and Memorial tells us so poignantly, terrorists do not care about age or national origin, religious or political affiliation. Theirs is the language of fear and intimidation.

I think our recent trip to Israel, which Senator Klein mentioned, gave us a sense of the stark reality of just how far terrorists are continuing to go to impose their will on free and democratic peoples.

In fact, just days ago, federal prosecutors charged a Rochester, New York man with recruiting for the ISIS terrorist group.

This is why reviewing and establishing protocols is so critical. Just in front of us are the Jewish high holy days, a time when police are stretched to their limits here in the city and Nassau and Suffolk counties. And it is also a time when the UN is having its meeting, which further stretches our police to the limit.

I think this is a great opportunity and a great time and the Governor provides great leadership in this critical time to set forth a coordinated plan to respond to the potential threats that may exist.

So I want to commend the Governor and his team for their leadership and if I could, let me make one more point. Fighting terrorism is a dangerous duty overseas and it is a dangerous duty here at home.

The men and women of law enforcement, our State Police, the NYPD, the MTA police, all of our law enforcement, put their lives on the line every day and it is their vigilance and their heroism that enables us to have the quality of life we enjoy in this city.

We cannot take for granted that they can stop each and every terrorist plan. We have a responsibility as citizens to be vigilant and to work with law enforcement to keep our families and our communities safe.

Speaking for the Assembly, we are ready and willing to do all that we can to assist in carrying out this mission and the cost of it is just secondary to the safety of the people.