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Chief James Craig says Detroit police are always learning from terror attacks

8 people killed in New York truck attack

DETROIT – Like most of the nation, police are glued to the television set when a terror attack takes place anywhere in the world. After the incidents, officers use the information to better prepare for the next attack.

The terror attack in New York hit home with police officers in Metro Detroit. Sayfullo Saipov plowed a rental pickup truck into pedestrians on a bike path near the 9/11 Memorial, killing eight people and injuring several more, police said.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to our families and New Yorkers," Detroit Police Chief James Craig said.

Craig said the tragedy, like all the others around the world, became a learning lesson for law enforcement agencies.

"We here in Detroit pay attention to what happens, not only in Detroit, but around the country, around the world, and we debrief and do a real-time analysis," Craig said.

New York police said Saipov deliberately plowed into the crowded bicycle lane, and Detroit police have trained for those types of scenarios. Craig said an actual readiness plan for a truck attack was in place for last month's marathon race through the streets of Detroit.

"We are prepared," Craig said. "In fact, in our last, most recent, marathon, we had a plan in place for that. So we don't wait for something to happen to respond. We are constantly trying to stay ahead."

He said police hate to think of all the terrible things a local terror plot might entail, but while he hopes for the best, it's his responsibility to prepare for the worst.

"When people come into the city' we are responsible for their safety," Craig said.

Before major events, police work on every detail they can think of, such as identifying the closest hospitals, knowing the fastest routes to them and preparing staging for a potential emergency command center.

Working out the details before an incident is what saves lives if there is a terror attack, police said.