New York, Apr 13, 2008 / 02:28 am (CNA).- Massive security operations will protect Pope Benedict XVI in his visit to New York City, including bomb-sniffing dogs, rooftop snipers and hovering helicopters, CBS News reports.
"The closer you are to those locations, the more you are going to feel the effects of it," said NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly.
A reporter asked Kelly if the security for the visit will be like a United Nations General Assembly, followed by a parade, followed by a presidential visit, Kelly said “yes.”
On Friday the Pope’s visits to the United Nations, the Park East Synagogue, and St. Joseph’s Church will clog the streets of New York.
In addition a “frozen zone” will be established around St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Those entering the zone will need tickets and a security check.
The U.S. Secret Service said that crowds can view the Pope as he drives north from St. Patrick’s Cathedral along Fifth Avenue to 72nd Street, continuing on to St. Joseph Seminary in Yonkers.
"From the moment he lands in the United States we will be involved in transportation and the popemobile is here and will be utilized in both Washington D.C. and here in New York," said Brian Carr of the Secret Service, according to CBS News.
Though security measures will resemble those established for Pope John Paul II’s 1995 visit, there will be a highly visible uniformed police presence and bomb-sniffing dogs on the streets. Harbor units and scuba divers will be stationed in the East River, and police helicopters will patrol overhead.
"Many of these measures have become part and parcel of our protection of New York since Sept. 11," Kelly said. "While we are not aware of any specific threats to the pope during his visit, we are obviously cognizant of the fact that Osama bin Laden in his latest videotape was critical of the pope."
The NYPD, the Secret Service, and the Vatican Swiss Guard will all be on security duty when the Pope is in New York City. On Sunday, when the Pope visits Ground Zero and celebrates Mass at Yankee Stadium, officials say mass transit will provide the best transportation.