New Jersey increases security in wake of Berlin Christmas market attack
Federal and state homeland security officials say that they want even the smallest of towns to be on alert after a deadly attack Monday at a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany.
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack. A person intentionally drove a truck through the popular market, killing 12 people and injuring about 50 others.
Now towns in New Jersey are being told to be vigilant as people gather to celebrate the holidays.
Bernards Township Police Chief Brian Bobowicz says that some changes will be made to the town's annual Christmas Eve gathering in town square.
"It was suggested that we change some of our plans," he says. "While it was a safe event, it will be even safer."
The Christmas Eve gathering has been a town tradition since 1924, and residents say they will continue to gather despite the attack overseas.
"It's a shame we have to take these measures as a town, but it makes me feel safe as a citizen that these measures are in place," says resident Ben Carlin.
Homeland security officials say that citizens shouldn't be frightened, but that they should practice the "if you see something, say something" mentality.
"People should go about their lives as they want to and plan to just feel safe and secure," says Chief Bobowicz. "We are there for them and enjoy the holidays."
The Department of Homeland Security has also released a list of public gathering safety guidelines.