As Trump visits U.N., New York prepares
for 'Super Bowl' of security
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[September 18, 2017]
By Joseph Ax and Barbara Goldberg
NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York police and a
host of federal agencies are preparing for the annual traffic and
security nightmare known as the United Nations General Assembly,
featuring a week of speeches by U.S. President Donald Trump and a parade
of other dignitaries.
The meeting of the world's top leaders and diplomats, scheduled to begin
on Tuesday, will bring street closures, thousands of police officers and
hundreds of protesters to midtown Manhattan, an area already plagued
with gridlock on an average weekday.
"It's the equivalent of the Super Bowl of security," said J. Peter
Donald, a spokesman for the New York City Police Department.
Trump will be on hand on Monday and Tuesday, when he will address the
body of world leaders for the first time. It was not immediately clear
whether he would stay at his Manhattan penthouse about a mile away from
United Nations headquarters or sleep at his golf course in Bedminster,
The event also comes just days after a homemade bomb on a packed
commuter train in London injured 22 people, though it failed to fully
A handful of anti-Trump protests in New York have been scheduled, with
more sure to come. A march on Monday to combat "white supremacy" will
start from Grand Central Terminal, while the left-wing activist group
Code Pink has organized a Tuesday march to the U.N. to protest Trump and
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Other protesters will gather outside the U.N. to call out specific
countries, including a rally against Iran President Hassan Rouhani.
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The General Assembly hall is seen at the U.N. Headquarters in New
York City, U.S., September 17, 2017. REUTERS/Joe Penney
The NYPD's elite counterterrorism unit, along with detectives from
the intelligence bureau and officers from the aviation, harbor,
highway and traffic units, will be on hand throughout the week.
Donald said the department has plenty of "muscle memory" from
"It's a full assortment of personnel from nearly every part of the
police department," Donald said. "We'll be prepared for anything.
We'll have backup plans and backup plans for the backup plans."
The U.S. Secret Service, the FBI, the Department of Homeland
Security and various other federal agencies are also involved in
providing security during both Trump's visit and the general
Vast swaths of the area near the United Nations, on the far east
side of midtown Manhattan, will be closed to vehicle traffic, and
the Coast Guard will heavily restrict boat traffic on the East
Police did not immediately offer an estimate on how much the week's
security and traffic measures would cost.
(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
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