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Hundreds of cops flood Penn Station, Grand Central for terror drill

(The following story by Murray Weiss, Larry Celona and Katherine Romero appeared on the New York Post website on April 1, 2010.)

NEW YORK — Call it a surge, Big Apple-style.

Hundreds of cops flooded Penn Station, Grand Central and Herald Square yesterday in a post-Moscow terror drill to see how prepared law enforcement is for an attack on the city's subways and commuter trains.

Officers from the NYPD transit bureau, National Guard and the police forces of the MTA, Long Island Rail Road, Amtrak and New Jersey Transit all took part in the drill dubbed Operation MASS -- or Multi-Agency Super Surge, officials said.

The regularly-scheduled drill -- which lasted about three hours -- is designed to see how cops can mobilize and coordinate their efforts in the event of an attack.

Mayor Bloomberg told reporters that yesterday's drill was preplanned, yet it came only days after suicide bombings at two Moscow metro stations killed at least 39 people.

Morning commuters seemed unfazed by the show of force, which included heavily armed officers with explosive-sniffing dogs and radiological detectors.

It was the 42nd such exercise held by the law enforcement agencies.

Diane Rodenburgh, a saleswoman who takes the LIRR to Penn Station to get to work, said she supported the heavy police presence.

"The people that are doing this are protecting us," said Rodenburgh, 57, who added that she lost 14 friends on 9/11.

"I'm not intimidated by them. They'll probably jump on a person to save us."

Others said the police presence was overdue, given the threats facing the city.

"Years ago, I never saw dogs searching bags for explosives," said Jim Hager, a 49-year-old accountant who commutes to Penn Station from Mineola. "I think ever since 9/11, it's been a wake-up call for the city."

Thursday, April 1, 2010

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