The much ballyhooed visit by Pope Francis to the United States beginning in just over a week from today has NYPD officials on high alert ahead of credible threats to the pontiff’s safety.
Earlier this week, officials from 48 different agencies met for an hours-long exercise led by the mayor’s office on multiple hypothetical emergency scenarios involving the pope’s visit in order to game out the appropriate courses of action.
Francis’ itinerary kicks off with an address to the United Nations General Assembly in with he will appear before ambassadors from at least 170 countries before departing for confabs in Philadelphia and Washington, DC.
The events in New York are merely the first in a long series of tightly scripted appearances, one in which will involved throngs of Roman Catholics—perhaps as many as a million—converging upon Philadelphia in hopes of catching a glimpse of the head of the church.
The third leg of what is being called an “unprecedented” event is the anticipated address by the pope to a joint session of Congress at the capitol.
That event similarly has Secret Service and heads of the federal alphabet soup in preparation mode for what are expected to be watershed remarks that challenge the political landscape as members of both houses press into the final months of this year’s session.