Tuesday’s deadly violence in New York, which is being investigated as possible terrorism, is a reminder to all law enforcement that any place can become a target.
At a trunk or treat event at the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff William Snyder laid out a tight security plan to ensure the safety of thousands of families with children.
Any time there is a large crowd, Snyder says security has to be top of mind.
“We always have to be prepared,” Snyder said.
During the trick-or-treat event, deputies were scattered in the crowd, some wearing full SWAT gear. Others were under cover to blend in with the crowd, while looking for suspicious activity.
Deputies were also stationed on top of the sheriff’s office to keep an aerial eye on the crowd.
“They are watching, so we feel safe,” said Martin County resident and mom, Lauren Cartagena. “We feel very blessed to live in a safe community.”
The violence in Lower Manhattan did not keep at least 6,000 from joining Tuesday’s crowd.
But, it did weigh on some parents’ minds.
“I mean, it makes us worry. Coming out tonight you worry about something like that happening,” said Caty Macleod. However, Macleod said given the law enforcement presence at the event, it felt like one of the safer places they could be.
“You can’t live in a bubble,” Macleod said.
“This is our reality in America. Unfortunately, it’s the new norm,” Snyder said.
He and his deputies know the possibility of a terrorist attack isn’t limited to big cities. “They’re hitting us where we all have to be. We have to be at the mall. We have to be on the street. We have to be at school,” Snyder described.
He urges people to remain vigilant but not live in fear.
“If they create fear or terror in our minds, then they start to win,” said Snyder.