(Reuters) - New York City will deploy hundreds of additional police officers eight days prior to the Nov. 3 presidential election as a precaution given the country’s deep political divisions, the city’s highest-ranking uniformed officer said on Tuesday.
“It is no secret that this election is more contentious than in years past,” Terence Monahan, the New York City Police Department’s Chief of Department told a briefing. “Beginning on Oct. 26 we will have hundreds of additional cops in uniform citywide who will be at the ready should they be needed.”
Monahan said there has been no intelligence pointing to the prospect of violence surrounding the contest between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, but that the force would be ready for whatever may occur.
In line with previous elections, a member of the police force would be present at each of the 1,201 polling stations across the city on election day, Monahan said.
The additional officers deployed would be ready to respond to any problems at the polling locations or throughout the city, he said.
Monahan said officers would also police the 88 locations handling early voting beginning on Oct. 24.
Even with early voting and the surge in voting by mail, the city’s police will be ready for a big turnout on election day, Monahan said.
“We are preparing as if this is going to be a very heavy turnout and we hope it is,” Monahan said. “There will be a lot of cops out there.”
Reporting by Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut; Editing by David Gregorio
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