For the last month, New York City has been practicing an anti-terror drill, says the New York Times: As many as 80 police cars quickly stream in out of nowhere, in neat rows, their lights and sirens going. The drills take place on blocks with restricted parking, and each car executes a fast back-in parking job against the curb. Sometimes they park perpendicular to the curb; sometimes at a slant. Scores of officers get out of the cars, and stand around for half an hour or so. Then they pile back into their cars and, again in formation, pull away from the curb and drive off.
The Times says the almost-daily drills “are alternately impressive, alarming, and even amusing, but within the Police Department, they are deadly serious – so serious that Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly refused to divulge details.” “It’s part of a counterterrorism overlay that is tweaked from time to time, based on conditions and intelligence,” said a police spokesman, Paul J. Browne. It is unclear whether the drills are part of the department’s much-publicized counterterrorism operations, including Hercules, Samson, and Atlas.