NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New Yorkers know the drill, when the U.N. General Assembly meets, traffic in the city grinds to a halt.
But the president and other world leaders keep moving thanks to an elite group of NYPD motorcycle officers.
As they ride past it looks so easy; nearly two dozen motorcycles clearing the way for the president, but it’s the culmination of a year’s worth of planning and practice.
Trump is just one of eleven world leaders currently attending the U.N. General Assembly, that get a continuous ‘high risk’ NYPD escort as long as they’re in New York.
You could call it the Super Bowl of motorcades.
Thomas Chan is the Chief of Transportation for the NYPD and also a former motorcycle officer.
“We call them the A-Team. They are the best riders in highway district. They’re selected because of their skill,” he said.
Long before they hop on a Harley and lead a motorcade, they have to make through a grueling 20 day training course that only about half pass.
CBS2 got special access to their training facility and watched officers practice the motorcade.
A few ride ahead looking for potential threats, and if needed block roads until the motorcade passes before racing back to the front.
Others stay in a wedge formation in front of the president or dignitary.
“We have to be ready for everything,” Sgt. John Murphy said.
Murphy has been riding in the president’s motorcade. During his 35 year career he’s worked on at least 75 presidential escorts.
“Like I tell the new students when they come into the motorcycle school, when they come on this job, they get a ticket to every major event in the city, and when they’re in the highway patrol they get a front row seat,” he said.
The NYPD officers have also handled visits from vice presidents, dozens of heads of state, and even the pope.
When they are not on escort duty, they are part of the NYPD highway patrol.