Security during Pope visit to be tight

Pope Benedict XVI makes first trip to New York
April 14, 2008 12:11:37 PM PDT
With just more than a week to go until Pope Benedict XVI arrives, police have revealed new details about what security will be like, and where you have the best chance of seeing the pope. The pope's visit was a fairly routine until Osama bin Laden made a statement about a month ago accusing him of engaging in a modern day crusade against Muslims. The NYPD started to worry, and the result is one of the most intense security blankets in New York's history, which will keep access to his Holiness to a minimum.

By the time the pope gets to the United Nations next Friday, the NYPD would've spent six months planning protecting the pontiff.

New York's police commissioner and the head of the U.S. Secret Service's local office say the security measures for the pope will rival those for the president when he visits the city.

"These include the use of police helicopters and boats, bomb sniffing dogs, scuba divers, highway and mountain units, and a overlay of counter-terroism measures including radiation detection teams," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

There will be a highly visible uniformed police presence and bomb-sniffing dogs on the streets. There also will be harbor units and scuba divers in the East River and police helicopters overhead.

Literally, thousands of uniformed officers will be deployed. While the pope is at the U.N., First Avenue will be closed. On Saturday, Fifth Avenue will be closed while he is at St. Patrick's Cathedral in the morning through when he leaves for Yonkers in the afternoon.

On Sunday, there will be some impact on PATH trains while the Holy Father is at Ground Zero, and later while he celebrates Mass at Yankee Stadium.

If you don't have tickets to these events, your best bet is to go see the Pope on Fifth Avenue when he makes his trip from St. Patrick's to the residence. He will make that trip via popemobile.

The NYPD is encouraging everyone to use mass transit during the pope's visit.

Cars and spectators will be screened before entering frozen zones around the stadium, the cathedral and the other venues hosting the pope.