LAPD steps up deployment, patrols in wake of Brussels attacks

- The Los Angeles Police Department deployed units to "critical infrastructures" sties throughout the city Tuesday in response to the terror attacks at the international airport and a subway station in Brussels.

The special deployment began at 7:30 a.m. in "major places where people congregate" such as the Grove, the Beverly Center and area synagogues, according to Officer Tony Im of the LAPD's Media Relations Section.

Officers were expected to report to their respective stations and there was no timetable for when the special deployments will end, Im said.

Southland community leaders and elected officials voiced outrage Tuesday over the terrorist attacks in Brussels, offering support to the nation and calling for stepped-up efforts targeting terrorists across the globe.

"Such horrific, coordinated mass murders will only end when (there) is a sustained global strategy in place to destroy ISIS' leadership and infrastructure in the Middle East and to root out their terrorist support systems and cells wherever they are found,'' said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

The center "urges all social media companies, including encryption firms, to take all necessary steps to block terrorists from using their services,'' Cooper added.

Rep. Janice Hahn, D-San Pedro, said that in light of the attacks, U.S. officials should consider expanding the security perimeter at airports, noting that two explosions at the Brussels airport occurred near check-in counters,
which people can approach without going through security.

She said she called Transportation Security Administration Administrator Peter Neffenger and urged him to consider expanding the security area at U.S. airports. "As it stands now, airports remain a prime target for terrorism but only half of the airport is protected by TSA security,'' she said. "In the wake of the attacks in Brussels, we must reconsider our current security and whether it can be strengthened to reduce soft targets and better protect the public.''

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti added his voice to those condemning the attacks. "On behalf of all Angelenos, I express my deepest sorrow and solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Belgium,'' he said. "Terrorist attacks
threaten more than our safety. They tear at our faith in peaceful coexistence. That is their ultimate prize, which we can only deny them by standing together.''   

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said the nation stands "with the people of Brussels and all of Europe as we join together to defeat these cowardly and barbaric terrorists.''

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