Police ready, able to protect pontiff during trip

Yonkers, New York City and Secret Service officials reassure the public that they're ready for the logistical burden of Pope Benedict XVI's visit.

The pope's trip includes a youth rally Saturday at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, where the New York Archdiocese educates its priests. Security will be tight at the expansive 40-acre site, where about 22,000 people will be on the grounds.

Local streets near the seminary will be closed Saturday, people can expect possible searches and backpacks are reportedly forbidden at the site. Flight restrictions are also in effect.

"While we are not aware of any specific threats to the pope during his visit, we are obviously cognizant of the fact that Osama bin Laden in his latest videotape was critical of the pope," NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Thursday.Last fall, Yonkers police began working with the NYPD and Secret Service to hammer out security details. Yonkers police officials declined to divulge information about plans.

"They've thought of things I would never have dreamed of, but then again, that's their job," Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone said. "They should. And I'm sure there are pieces of it I haven't even been told and will not be told just because the fewer people who know, the better."

Amicone, a Catholic himself, and Bishop Gerald Walsh will be among several people to have the honor of welcoming the pope to Yonkers.

Click here for team coverage on the effort to recruit more priests.

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