Report reveals heightened security measures for Trump's New York criminal trial next week

 April 12, 2024

Barring any unexpected last-minute delays, former President Donald Trump is set to face trial in New York beginning on Monday on dozens of falsification of business records charges brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg that stem from alleged "hush money" payments to silence accusers during the 2016 election.

Security in and around the Manhattan courthouse where the trial will take place will be exceptionally tight and will involve close coordination between the U.S. Secret Service, the New York City Police Department, and the New York State Unified Court System, according to The Hill.

The proceedings will begin on Monday with jury selection and the trial is expected to last from six to eight weeks, with Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee who repeatedly sought but was denied a delay so he could focus on his campaign, being required to be present whenever the court is in session.

Secret Service and NYPD coordinating security for Trump trial

A Friday press release from the U.S. Secret Service announced that the federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies would be "working together to ensure the highest level of safety and security" for the entirety of the legal proceedings involving former President Trump.

"The U.S. Secret Service is prepared to effectively carry out our protective mission here in New York," Special Agent in Charge Patrick Freaney of the New York Field Office said in a statement. "While operational security precludes us from going into specifics, the U.S. Secret Service will not seek any special accommodations outside of what would be required to ensure the continued safety of the former president."

"We have the utmost trust and confidence in our law enforcement partners, including the NYPD and New York State Unified Court System, and appreciate their continued dedication and professionalism," the Secret Service agent added.

NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban said in the release, "Planning for high-profile security events is very familiar ground for the New York City Police Department. Our longstanding relationships with each of our local, state, and Federal law enforcement partners, including the U.S. Secret Service and the New York State Unified Court System, will help secure the courthouse and everyone inside, facilitate peaceful assembly outside the building and maintain the safe flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic in the surrounding areas for the duration of the proceedings."

What the security plan might entail

CNN reported on Friday about some of the expectations for higher security and what the "sophisticated and multi-layered security plan" that will be employed might look like during former President Trump's imminent New York criminal trial, according to multiple unnamed law enforcement sources.

It includes extra staffing, strategic "frozen zones," and the use of advanced technologies and intelligence-gathering, including watching social media for any signs of threats of violence or disruptions, be they from a "lone wolf" or a coordinated group.

The situation will be monitored closely from two separate locations -- a mobile NYPD command center set up near the courthouse and from the Joint Operations Center, which is an intelligence hub described as the "nerve center of the city" where more than 50,000 security cameras around the city can be accessed and controlled.

The Secret Service, which will take the lead in transporting Trump to and from the courthouse, likely using different routes to avoid repetitive patterns, has been coordinating plans with state and local agencies for months, and while they will also be securing the former president inside the building, the federal agents will be bolstered by uniformed NYPD officers and Court officers, both uniformed and undercover, in and around the building as well as the courtroom itself.

Bomb-sniffing dogs will also be used to routinely patrol the building, and all entrants to the courthouse will be required to pass through two magnetometers -- one at the main entrance in the lobby and the second right outside the 15th-floor courtroom where the trial will take place.

Keeping Trump safe while also guarding against threats to the judge and prosecutors

"This is six to eight weeks of a trial, jury selection, and then a trial, of unprecedented scale. A former president running for president on trial here in New York City. It’s a big challenge. It’s a lot of moving parts," NYPD Assistant Chief John Hart told CNN. "He’ll be also moving in and out of the city on a regular basis so we are working with all of our partners, our federal partners, our New York State court officers, all the people on the ground that are going to help us manage that stuff."

While keeping former President Trump safe and secure for the duration of the trial is obviously the top priority, there are other potential risks the combined security team will also likely be keeping an eye on, as USA Today reported that there have been threats made against the judge and prosecutors in the case.

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