Businesses hoping Trump Tower security drawdown begins soon, NYPD says it will reevaluate

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Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Businesses hoping Trump Tower security drawdown begins soon
Toni Yates reports businesses near Trump Tower are hoping the extra security around the building will draw down quickly.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- As former President Donald Trump left Washington, D.C. for Florida, his former home in Midtown, Manhattan remained heavily guarded.

"Craziness absolutely getting to work days on certain days," Eva Gizdavich, who works nearby, said.

For more than four years traffic around Trump Tower has been snarled with security blocks.

It's just been odd there's just no way to put it outside of that protests all the time," Ben Sweeney, who works nearby, said.

Police have guarded Trump Tower since the summer of 2016 and at one point the city was spending up to $300,000 dollars a day on its security.

As the barricades went up, business went down at shops and restaurants nearby.

RELATED | Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Midtown to see security scaled back

The police presence at Trump Tower on 5th Avenue will be scaled down once President Donald Trump leaves office Wednesday, according to a New York Police Department official.

"Blocked streets, heavy traffic, heavy police presence, big deterrents to shoppers, and big deterrents to commerce," East Midtown Partnership President Rob Byrnes said.

Now that Trump is no longer president, the security bubble will begin to deflate, but East 56th Street will remain shutdown as law enforcement assess potential threats.

Business owners, struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic, hope the security eases quickly so they can try to capture more customers.

"Anything we can do to bring more people in and make people more comfortable while they're shopping is extremely important," Byrnes said.

New York City has cut contracts with the Trump Organization following the U.S. Capitol riot and wiped his name off of some buildings.

Now, people nearby Trump Tower hope the security impacts leave too.

"It's been almost four years because of him. Now it's going to be like New York. It's gonna feel more like New York," Pepe Ba, who works nearby, said.

The NYPD said it will work with the Secret Service to construct a new security program that decreases the federal footprint and manpower assigned to and around Trump Tower.

"From now through the inauguration we will have a robust presence at Trump affiliated locations included Trump Tower on 5th Avenue. After the inauguration we will reevaluate our security posture," an NYPD senior official told Eyewitness News.

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