New York, Sept. 25 (ANI): With Pope Francis here along with over a 170 heads of state and government and their entourages arrived for the United Nations General Assembly, the city of New York has been covered in a blanket of tight security.
The Pope arrived here yesterday even as the police Commissioner Bill Bratton did a security check of the St Patrick’s Cathedral ahead of the pontif’s arrival.
The FBI has designated the Pope’s first ever visit as a “national special security event” comparable to the Winter Olympics and Super Bowl.
Cops were seen on every street and the traffic was grid locked for hours as the Pope kept up with his engagements for the day.
James Yacone of the FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group told the media, “This is going to be one of the largest lifts in the nation’s history for national security events. There are three major metropolitan areas that are going to all have to seamlessly receive and send off the pope.”
“That all has to be very skillfully thought out-how we’re going to protect him, allow access of the public at different venues and do it in such a manner that law enforcement can screen as many people as possible to keep it secure,” he added.
In hotels, where the heads of state and government are staying, metal detecting gates and x-ray machines have been placed and every person entering is checked.
The security was also stepped up outside the Waldorf Astoria hotel where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is staying in the New York leg of his five-day visit to the United States.(ANI)