D.C. Boosts Security After Paris Attacks

Washington, D.C. police sent extra officers to the French Embassy and other France-related sites after the attacks in Paris on Friday, and every police officer is being reminded to stay vigilant of potential terror threats.

Officials said there was no imminent threat to the District.

D.C. police and the Secret Service each had officers Friday night at the Embassy of France, on Reservoir Road in Northwest D.C. 

People wishing to show their care for France and the victims of the attacks lit candles and placed flowers Friday night at the gates of the embassy.

"This is just a little thing we can do to show our support for them," one college student said.

Flags at the embassy were lowered to half-staff.

Metro Transit Police increased patrols in the system, officials said Friday night. Riders are asked to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity or unattended items immediately.

Security was stepped up around the U.S. Capitol.

The Metropolitan Police Department said Chief Cathy Lanier has been in contact with federal and regional law enforcement officials since the attacks began.

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Lanier has issued guidance, obtained by News4, to all D.C. officers.

"All MPD members are directed to maintain a high degree of vigilance and attention to their duties. All members shall be cognizant of their surroundings and pay close attention to areas that could be an attractive target to those wishing to do harm to include our stations and public safety facilities," the guidance says.

In a department wide teletype Lanier ordered be read at all roll calls over the next 48 hours, the chief instructs officers:

"Member should be aware that individuals plotting attacks may intend to injure the first-responders arriving on the scene of an attack. Members are reminded to remain observant to the indicators of terrorist attacks and be prepared to respond swiftly, safely and in accordance with your training. Saving lives remains our highest priority and, as such, members must be prepared to quickly respond, assess the situation and neutralize the threat using the appropriate amount of force," the message says.

"Currently there is no indication that these attacks are related to Washington, D.C. and there is no credible threat to our city," the message ends.

Mayor Muriel Bowser is on her way back from a trip to China and has been briefed on security by Lanier, Bowser's chief of staff, John Falchiccio, told News4's Mark Segraves on a phone call from Beijing.

The attacks in Paris "hit home" for Bowser, as she recently met twice with the mayor of that city and discussed the radicalization of isolated populations.

It was business as usual at the Verizon Center Friday night, where police kept a close eye on crowds leaving a Capitals game. 

A Verizon Center representative said security is high as ever. 

“Our fans' safety has and remains our top priority and Verizon Center has security measures in place for all events that take place at the arena," a statement said.

The Kennedy Center's security team had "an increased vigilance" Friday night, a representative said.

"Kennedy Center staff and security are aware of and continue to monitor the events unfolding in Paris," a statement said. " The safety of our patrons, artists and employees are of the utmost importance."

At least 127 people were killed in the worst attacks on France since World War II. Americans were among the 200 wounded, the State Department said on Saturday. Eight attackers targeted at least six locations in the French capital, authorities said. Police said they killed one of the terrorists and the others blew themselves up.

French President Francois Hollande vowed a "merciless" response against the perpetrators, as ISIS claimed responsibility.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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