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Massachusetts State Police Monitoring Crime Incidents in NYC, NJ, PA

So far, no connections have been made

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Law enforcement and residents in Massachusetts are reacting to the bomb detonations in Manhattan and New Jersey on Saturday. (Published Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016)

    Massachusetts State Police said they are monitoring three national incidents that took place over the weekend with the help of the state's intelligence center.

    On Saturday night, a device exploded in a dumpster in the Chelsea section of Manhattan, injuring 29 people. Just four blocks away, police said an unexploded pressure-cooker was found with wires and a cellphone attached to it.

    Authorities said there didn't appear to be any link to international terrorism but that the dumpster explosion 'was intentional.'

    Earlier on Saturday, a pipe bomb was detonated during a charity run in Ocean County, New Jersey. No injuries were reported.

    Friday night, a man went on a shooting rampage in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The man allegedly killed one woman and injured five people, including two police officers. The suspect was shot and killed by police.

    Massachusetts State Police said the Commonwealth Fusion Center, which compiles and disseminates information about criminal and terrorist activity, is receiving updates on both incidents from the FBI and intelligence officials in other states. The CFC is sharing relevant information with law enforcement agencies throughout the Commonwealth.

    So far, no connection has been made between any of the recent incidents or anyone in Massachusetts but the CFC says they will continue to monitor the investigations.

    Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said intelligence gathering both in the Commonwealth and around the country has improved over the years due to incidents like the ones over the weekend and the Boston Marathon bombing.

    "A number of times over the course of the past 12 months, people have been brought in and questioned or they've been intercepted on their way to an event," Baker said. "There was one in Los Angeles a couple weeks ago where law enforcement brought someone in with a car of explosives. I think that's going to continue to be our best opportunity to deal with this."

    The attacks in Manhattan over the weekend reminded many around Boston of the attacks they suffered on Marathon Monday in 2013.

    “The New York thing hit home. My brother lives a few blocks away from the explosion,” said Michelle Katz, who lives in Newton.

    She and other parents gathered at the Newton Center Playground on Sunday for an event organized by Mayor Setti Warren. It was part of an effort to bring the community closer to its police department. Following Saturday’s explosions, parents were more than happy to attend.

    “It’s a different world we live in from when I grew up,” said mom, Sarah Solomon. “We just have to handle things different and be more aware of our surroundings and more vigilant.”

    For police, Saturday's incident in Manhattan also brought back memories.

    “Half our department was over in Watertown after the Boston Marathon,” explained Newton Police Chief David MacDonald.

    Since 9/11, MacDonald said police departments around the state and country have developed a different mindset, one that forces them to be more vigilant over their communities than ever before.

    “Every city and town is just one event away from a crazy situation,” MacDonald said. “So, this is a mindset that we are used to.”

    Given the evolving nature of threats cities are facing today, Warren said communities, like Newton, are always reevaluating the procedures they have in place.

    “Large cities, towns are going to have to be prepared to deal with this new age.” Warren explained.


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