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NYPD chief Bill Bratton: Terrorists will hit NYC again

NEW YORK - The New York Police Department acts under the assumption that there is no place terrorists want to strike more, the police commissioner said this weekend.

In the wake of the Orlando nightclub massacre, cities around the country have been stepping up their security around LGBT events and locales, but New York City was already on heightened alert, Bill Bratton said Sunday on the the CATS Roundtable Radio Show.

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"The world we live in, it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when," Bratton said.

The head of the world's largest police department -- with an estimated 40,000 sworn officers -- has been both preparing for attacks and thwarting planned attacks continually since he took over in 2014.

Bratton said earlier -- when discussing preparations for what was the city's largest-ever gay pride parade -- that there have been a number of threats made against gay bars and nightclubs in the city.

He called those making the threats "cowards" responding to the Orlando shooting, but said none were credible or specific.

Still, the city's police prepare for all threats by carefully studying everything terrorists attack around the world, like in Orlando, as well as events like Brussels and San Bernardino, Bratton told the radio show.

He said the majority of casualties in attacks happen in the first five to seven minutes, and to that end the city has two specially trained units positioned throughout the five boroughs. Bratton said there is a "530-person critical response command" with officers prepared for a variety of terror attack scenarios, and another 800-person unit "similarly trained and equipped," that can reach almost any part of the city within that time frame.

Bratton said he believes the terror threat is getting worse.

"The concern is that they're occurring much more frequently and the weapons used are much more deadly," Bratton said.

The police commissioner specifically pointed to the assault weapons used in most mass casualty shootings in America, telling the radio show they civilians should not have them because they "are weapons of war."

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