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Marked differences in convention security plans

From Jeanne Meserve
CNN Washington Bureau


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Tight security planned for the DNC in Boston and the RNC in New York.
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(CNN) -- Security preparations for political party conventions in New York and Boston will affect each city's residents very differently.

When the Democratic Convention comes to town in July, Boston's Interstate 93, which carries 200,000 commuters daily, will be closed in the evening hours and a busy subway station will be shut, disrupting at least 24,000 commuters.

Boston police and the U.S. Secret Service said North Station will be shut down Friday, July 23, until the end of the convention, Reuters reported. The busy subway stop is directly under the Fleet Center where the Democrats' convention will be held.

Two subway lines, commuter trains to outlying towns and Amtrak passenger trains all use North Station, according to Reuters.

A month later, Republicans will hold their convention at New York's Madison Square Garden, which sits above Manhattan's busy commuter hub Penn Station, where an estimated 600,000 people pass through daily.

But New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly said Thursday, "We are well-equipped and the plan is that New York stays open for business."

Ann Roman, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Secret Service confirmed that current plans call for Penn Station to stay open, but added that the plans have not been finalized.

"Security plans are site specific and each is uniquely tailored to each venue," she said.

NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said there are no plans to close any major thoroughfares, although a multiple-block security perimeter around Madison Square Garden is expected.

Browne would only say some streets "immediately adjacent" to the Garden will be shut. "Most of the traffic in the city will continue to flow," he said.

Kelly said commuters can expect "a robust police presence around and on board trains coming in and out of the station without a disruption of train service." But he left open the possibility that subway trains might bypass the Penn Station subway stop.

New York has 36,000 police officers and the capability to police many venues simultaneously, Kelly said. The department plans to train 10,000 officers before the convention, Kelly said.

Kelly spoke to reporters from a transit facility in Brooklyn where police were conducting a counterterrorism training drill for biological, chemical and radioactive attacks.

Jamie McShane contributed to this report.



Reuters contributed to this report.

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