City and federal authorities are dealing with a “security nightmare” in the middle of Manhattan now that one of America’s most famous tourist attractions on one of America’s busiest streets is home to President-elect Donald Trump.
The Federal Aviation Administration has already enacted a no-fly zone around Trump Tower that bans flights over the landmark for a two-nautical-mile radius around the building where Trump and his family live and work, and which also houses other apartments and offices.
The no-fly zone will exist until Trump moves into the White House in January.
“This becomes a security nightmare for the NYPD,” said security expert Joe Giacalone, a former NYPD detective and instructor at John Jay College.
“Especially now that he is the President-elect, people are going to want to go see it. It’s going to become another big tourist attraction, so I think we’re going to see a combination of private security and the NYPD,” he added.
City officials are already working to give Trump Tower a ground-level security boost.
Concrete barriers have been set up around the iconic building. A row of sanitation trucks and salt spreaders filled with sand have been acting as impromptu barricades along Fifth Avenue.
One lane of traffic on Fifth Avenue, already subject to major traffic tie-ups, is expected to remain closed to forestall car bomb attacks on the building.
Changes are also coming to everyone who lives or works in the building.
The Secret Service will now be vetting everyone within the building, and a process is expected to be put in place to also screen guests visiting residents or businesses.
Even as officials work to increase security, the sidewalk across the street from Trump Tower is becoming a popular site for protesters angered at Trump’s victory.
In response, police have set aside areas for protesters, supporters and members of the media to gather. Security screens have been set up at entrances to obscure the identities of people entering and leaving Trump Tower.
New Yorkers are prepared to tolerate the disruption as they do all the other vagaries of living or working in Manhattan.
“I actually think it’s only going to be for a limited time. I think it’s for right now, because of all the hype regarding the election, but I figure about a month or two, it will be back to normal,” said Laseanda Covington.
Security measures will evolve, Giacalone said.
“We can’t have dump trucks all up and down the avenue. I mean, it’s just not practical, and it doesn’t look nice, so I think this is going to happen one day at a time, so to speak,” he said.
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