Protecting Diplomats at UNGA: The Inside Story #2

September 26, 2007
Ladies of Coffee With Juan Valdez

Interview by Heath Kern With Darwin Cadogan, Director of Protection for Diplomatic SecurityQUESTION: President Ahmadi-Nejad, the President of Iran, is being given what I understand to be the highest level of security one can receive, which obviously makes some sense. Are you -- do you have any part in his security?

MR. CADOGAN: Well, his foreign minister is accompanying him on this particular trip, so it's at joint operation detail with the Secret Service and the New York City Police Department.

QUESTION: Is he being given more than any other previous foreign minister has been given during UNGA or does it still fall into the --

MR. CADOGAN: He's given what's according to his perceived threat in the United States, so that level of protection balances out against the threat.

QUESTION: And are you coordinating with the Iranian Government?

MR. CADOGAN: We're coordinating with the Iranian Mission to the United Nations.

QUESTION: And how have they been to deal with?

MR. CADOGAN: They've been cooperative.

QUESTION: Can you give our viewers some idea of what causes a random street closing to occur?

MR. CADOGAN: Well, you know, I'm happy that you asked that because I just left a meeting with the Police Commissioner Kelly. That's an NYPD decision and they make that decision. They inform us and we abide by it.

QUESTION: So you have nothing to do with determining we want "said" street closed?

MR. CADOGAN: Well, they've decided that -- to keep the flow of traffic in a certain pattern without affecting the citizens of New York City, they would close certain streets to facilitate this particular event. And so, you know, we're happy with their decisions and we abide by them and we work together with them. Since 9/11, the street closures that you mentioned, you know, we have now Delta barriers, these are the pop-up portable barriers that we put in place to stop any instances of vehicles or trucks getting into that particular location. And we've also had coordination with the City of New York working with lanes to facilitate the motorcade traffic, cordoning off a lane just for that, so they can go through and they're not stuck in traffic and they're not affecting the natural flow of traffic in the city.

QUESTION: Is UNGA the biggest job that you do every year or is there something else that's even larger?

MR. CADOGAN: No, UNGA is the crown jewel of what we do. It takes us, in terms of coordination, I mean we start -- we'll start coordinating for the next UNGA immediately after this.



New Mexico, USA
September 29, 2007

EJ in New Mexico writes:
Ahmadinejad to me seemed like a man on a suicide mission. By doing his very best to anger folks to the point where someone somewhere would just snap and try to assasinate him.

The ramifications being that therein lies possible intent to create an international incident at US expense.

I wonder what the folks doing the security would think of this gut instinct assessment?


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