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NYPD sends cops to outposts in Arizona and Colombia

“This is borne out of the recognition that we have a lot of vexing problems on our southern border — fentanyl scourge, transnational criminal organizations that might have a footprint into the U.S. and increasingly toward our city, and the migrant crisis,” a NYPD leader stated

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Howard Simmons

By Rocco Parascandola
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — The NYPD is again expanding its footprint to deal with the migrant crisis and drug trafficking, posting one detective in Arizona and another in Colombia, a top department official said Wednesday.

The new outposts — in Tuscon and Bogotá — bring to 18 the number of cities, mostly foreign, where the largest police department in the U.S. has assigned an investigator to work closely with authorities in each location.

Deputy Commissioner Rebecca Weiner said the goal is for the NYPD to get accurate information as quickly as possible if an event elsewhere could impact the city, such as Oct. 7, when the detective assigned to Tel Aviv alerted her to the Hamas terror attack in Israel in real time.

“This is borne out of the recognition that we have a lot of vexing problems on our southern border — fentanyl scourge, transnational criminal organizations that might have a footprint into the U.S. and increasingly toward our city, and the migrant crisis,” Weiner said after making the announcement at the annual State of the NYPD breakfast in Midtown. “Our philosophy always has been, it’s the undergirding of our liaison program — we’re not going to wait for the problems to come to us.

“We’re not going to say, ‘This is somebody else’s responsibility,’” added Weiner, who oversees the NYPD’s Intelligence & Counterterrorism Bureau. “It’s our job to protect our city.”

Weiner said the detective in Bogotá will focus on migration and drug trafficking and that the detective in Tuscon will work at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility.

While the NYPD, she said, has for years worked with various federal agencies on border issues, the city is best served “having somebody on the ground, in real time.”

“There’s nothing that can replace that,” Weiner added.

The Police Foundation covers the expenses for officers stationed outside New York City, though their salaries are paid by the NYPD.

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