National Security Officials Advise Police to Watch Out for Surveillance of Soft Targets

Hartford, New Haven and Connecticut State Police are among the agencies across the state to receive a new memo from national counter-terrorism officials.

Sent to 18,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide, the memo analyzes recent terrorist tactics with the hope of helping police guard against them.

“A bulletin was sent from Homeland Security, FBI just asking agencies to just be on alert with the recent threats through Paris and New York and that,” Trooper First Class Kelly Grant said.

After ISIS gunmen terrorized cafes, restaurants and a concert hall in Paris, the counter-terrorism officials asked police departments to “be on the lookout for suspicious people conducting surveillance of soft targets.”

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's office released the following statement:

“We always ask the public to remain vigilant, be aware of their surroundings, and recognize when something looks out of place or suspicious. If you see something, say something. Report it to authorities, tell them what you saw and why it stuck you as odd."

The FBI website identifies soft targets as shopping malls, supermarkets, residential buildings, schools and university and entertainment venues.

“Be aware of your surroundings,” Grant said, “Anybody acting suspiciously, anybody looks suspicious, you see a suspicious vehicle, you see somebody where you don’t think they should be, give us a call. It’s something we need to check out. We’d rather air on the side of caution.”

The memo, according to NBC News, warns local police departments to review for active shooter situations.

In downtown New Haven, Jimmy Nigretti runs a hot dog stand outside the financial building. He said he’s not worried about a terrorist attack.

“I’m always looking around, you got to be careful,” Nigretti said, “you never know, cause you have no power over craziness.”

Hartford Police Lt. Brandon O’Brien said the public can be vigilant without being paranoid.

“Pay attention to what happens in your neighborhood, around your place of work, to and from work, we don’t need to be paranoid about things,” said Lt. O’Brien, the commander of the Vice, Intelligence and Narcotics Division of Hartford Police, “what we do need to be is mindful of what’s taking place in the world around us.”

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