NEW YORK — At high-end Hamptons events, police officers with machine guns will now be among those attending. They are being sent to the parties amid fears of terrorist attacks.
Officers made a guest appearance at the Watermill Center gala on Saturday night along with guests including “Iron Man” actor Robert Downey Jr. and French actress Isabelle Huppert.
Initially, many partygoers thought the two officers dressed in black bulletproof vests were part of the annual art show itself, organized by the center’s famed director, Robert Wilson.
But the officers explained that the Southampton Town police chief has introduced a new counterterrorism unit that will see the presence of officers with body armor and powerful firearms at popular public events.
The Watermill Center gala attracted more than 1,200 people to the art performances, and 500 stayed for dinner.
Also on Saturday night, at the James Beard Foundation’s Chefs & Champagne Gala in Sagaponack, where 40 top chefs prepared food for 800 people and Marcus Samuelsson was honored, there was also a pair of machine-gun-bearing policeman protecting the huge tent filled with revelers.
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