In Wake of Officer Ambush, Philadelphia Police Pair Up to Do Job, Protect Public: Commissioner

Amid a threat of further violence targeting officers, Philadelphia Police are pairing up as they work to keep doing their job in the wake of last week's ambush on one of their own by a gunman claiming he did it "in the name of Islam."

"We still have a job to do, and that's to protect the public," said Police Commissioner Richard Ross as he arrived for work Monday morning.

Tensions in the police department have run high in the days since the attempted assassination of Officer Jesse Hartnett by a man allegedly claiming allegiance to the Islamic State group, commonly known as ISIS.

According to a police report obtained by NBC10, an anonymous tipster told officers over the weekend that "the threat to police is not over" and that Edward Archer, 30, the man who shot Hartnett late Thursday is "part of a group that consists of three others." The tipster added that the alleged shooter "is not the most radical of the four." The report obtained Sunday goes on to say the tipster told police to "be careful.”

"Very concerned, we don't quite know what to make of it as of yet," said Ross of the anonymous tip. "So we're going to take every precaution necessary. There might not be anything to it, but we're not going to take any chances with that. We've got to protect our police officers. That's paramount."

Philadelphia Police are investigating an anonymous tip which claims a group affiliated with the man accused of shooting an officer in an ambush attack is threatening other officers in the city. NBC10’s Drew Smith has the details.

In the wake of the Hartnett's shooting, police officers began patrolling in pairs. After this alleged threat, Ross said that practice would continue.

"As a result of the tip, we're going to extend it for a long as necessary," said Ross.

Ross stressed that the extra precaution was so that police could feel more comfortable while serving the public.

Archer was charged over the weekend with attempted murder and a slew of related offenses and stands accused of approaching Hartnett's patrol car at 60th and Spruce streets and opening fire at point-blank range.

The wounded officer, bleeding profusely from three gunshot wounds that ravaged his arm, managed to exit his patrol car and return fire, wounding Archer in the buttocks, police have said.

Ross said he is thankful to the woman who approached an officer on the street with the tip about the possible continued threat over the weekend.

"We'd be remiss if we didn't cover every base, but we're not ready to point the finger at this point," he said.

Police issued memos to all law-enforcement agencies to warn them to stay vigilant as the investigation into the threat continues. They also posted on Facebook that the FBI is investigating the tip as well.

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The tipster also claimed Archer attended two West Philadelphia mosques. An administrator at one of the mosques told NBC10 he did not know the suspect. While the mosque is open to the public, members say any claim that Archer was possibly radicalized while attending is not true because they preach against extremism.

"It's very easy to point the finger and blame or to just throw an accusation around," the administrator said. "It's a different story altogether when you actually come in and listen to our sermons and listen to our lessons."

Hartnett, 33, a five-year veteran, remained hospitalized Monday.

"He sustained a significant injury to his arm," said Ross. "He has a long, long way to go."

Ross asked people to keep the officer in their prayers while he undergoes more surgery to repair nerve damage to his arm.

Investigators over the weekend said that so far, they had not found anything linking Archer to ISIS, despite Archer's alleged pledge to the group.

Police also said that recent trips Archer took to Egypt and Saudi Arabia have not been determined to be linked to any terrorist activity.

Officials said the gun Archer used was a stolen police weapon. The details surrounding the theft of the gun have not been made public.

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