Raymond Kelly Outlines NYPD Terror Trial Plan to Cut Lower Manhattan Into Armed Security Zones
By Suzanne Ma
MIDTOWN WEST — Parts of Chinatown and lower Manhattan will be cut into security zones bordered by metal barriers and armed guards to protect the city during the trials of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other terror suspects, NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly said during a speech Tuesday night.
The "inner" zone will close off the area surrounding the federal courthouse, the state courthouse on Centre Street, the U.S. attorney's office, police headquarters, St. Andrews Church on Cardinal Hayes Place and Chatham Towers, residential co-ops on Park Row with an underground parking garage, Kelly told reporters at a New York Press Club event.
Pedestrians and vehicle traffic will be heavily restricted along the north side of Worth Street, Pearl Street in the east, Madison Street in the south, and west along Centre Street.
There will be six entry points into the inner zone, which will be cordoned off with about 2,000 metal barriers and police officers screening for explosives, Kelly said.
A wider security perimeter will be bounded by Canal Street in the north, the Bowery on the east, Frankfort Street in the south and Broadway on the west.
Kelly said this "outer" zone will allow a "free flow of pedestrian traffic" policed by officers in cars, on foot and on horseback. New Yorkers should be prepared to stop for random checks by officers on the street and in subway stations.
It's unclear when the trials will begin, but Kelly said the city will receive a notice 45 days before the suspects are brought here.
The city has estimated that the security measures will cost $215 million in the first year and $200 million the following year – a chunk of the costs will go to officers working overtime during the trials.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Sen. Charles Schumer, and several local politicians are calling for the federal government to cover the city's costs during the pending trials.
When asked if Kelly had ever requested that the federal government hold the trials elsewhere, the commissioner told reporters, "We were not given the opportunity to give a recommendation … this was presented [to us] as an accomplished fact."
Still, he said, if the department was given the proper funding, "we can do it."