- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 27, 2016

Donald Trump’s win in the presidential election is causing some heartburn for New Yorkers and headaches for law enforcement officials trying to balance how best to protect the president-elect and his iconic properties from attacks without placing an undue burden on city residents and businesses.

Like most of the rest of the world, local and federal enforcement officials were caught off guard by Mr. Trump’s victory, security analysts say. Since then, they have been hustling to prepare for what a former New York City police commission and others are describing as an unprecedented challenge.

Mr. Trump plans to move into the White House after the Jan. 20 inauguration but is expected to frequent his Manhattan home. His wife, Melania, plans to stay in New York until their 10-year-old son, Barron, finishes the school year.

“Technically, we have a White House here right on Fifth Avenue,” said former NYPD Sgt. Joseph L. Giacalone, who now teaches at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “It is one of the busiest avenues in the city, and in order to secure it they are going to have to shut down Fifth Avenue most of the time.

“It is not like the White House, where there is a huge fence,” Mr. Giacalone said of the building. “This thing is like 5 feet from the street, and it is not bombproof yet. The buildings around it have to be fortified too because they have not been built to withstand a blast.”

Ron Hosko, a former assistant director at the FBI and president of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, said the election of Mr. Trump poses unique challenges for law enforcement. Previous presidents — including George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush — visited family properties in places that were more remote and more easily fortified than Mr. Trump’s real estate portfolio.

“This is a guy who lives in the middle of millions of people,” said Mr. Hosko, alluding to the 68-story Trump Tower, which also is home to hundreds of other residents, plus stores such as Gucci and Nike.

Shortly after Mr. Trump was declared the winner of the election to become the 45th president of the United States, sanitation trucks were positioned in front of Trump Tower to thwart any attacks. Since then, SWAT teams and metal barricades have become regular fixtures outside the building and the air space above it has been deemed a no-fly zone.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has signaled that he plans to send the bill, which news outlets have pegged at $1 million per day, to the federal government.

Mr. Giacalone said he expects law enforcement officials are developing a risk analysis survey of the vulnerabilities at Trump Tower and the president-elect’s other properties.

“They are going to have to do background checks for everyone who works in their building,” he said. “Could people end up losing their jobs over this? I absolutely think so.”

Security concerns also are tied to his the Trump International Hotel in the District of Columbia, a few blocks from the White House and across from FBI headquarters at the J. Edgar Hoover Building on Pennsylvania Avenue.

“A substantial vehicle-borne IED is going to do great damage,” said Mr. Hosko, adding that an attacker could aim at two targets at once.

Mr. Hosko said there are concerns about funding the Secret Service and that its agents are overworked, underpaid and, in some cases, not receiving the proper training. “There are serious challenges surrounding the U.S. Secret Service,” he said.

The revamped security efforts in New York has fueled frustration among locals who have been inconvenienced by clogged streets and local businesses that have suffered from reduced foot traffic.

Mr. Giacalone said the burden on New Yorkers will get worse before it gets better.

“I just don’t think that people have yet to be inconvenienced,” he said. “If they think it is bad now, wait until after the inauguration.”

“But it is not about convenience at this point; it is about protecting the president of the United States,” he said.

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