Obama was in town (Minneapolis) a few weeks back. I work at the north (river) end of downtown. He was scheduled to stop at some restaurant a stone’s throw from the Federal Reserve Bank (hugely convenient for the Secret Service, I would imagine). From my vantage point moderately high above the city, I could see police cars parked every block along Washington Ave. leading over to 35. I didn’t get out and about that day to see the rest of the security.
Today Biden was two blocks from my building. I didn’t see a police car every block like when Obama was here, but as it was a beautiful day, I went for a walk across the 3rd Ave Bridge and back over my lunch.
As I’m walking over, on the north side of the Rivergate Apts parking ramp, there’s this short guy in a metal t-shirt over a wife beater, baggy jeans and boots. Very short carefully shaved hair. Holding a cell phone to his ear. I won’t say “talking on it”, because in the time I walked by and down the block, he never said a word or made a sound. I noted that he was kinda looking around, but I marked that down as just suspicious behavior on his part. More on him later.
I get to the corner to cross over and walk on the Lock side of the bridge. This guy in khakis and a polo shirt comes walking across the street. No sunglasses, no cell phone, no radio. But he’s got this odd looking squarish black nylon thing on his belt and as he walks directly in front of me toward the Depot (where Biden is), I clearly note that it holds a gun. A very well concealed gun held upside down pointed to his rear. Never seen anything like it.
I walk across the bridge, across the street on the far side and start back. As I’m crossing, the surveillance helicopter makes it’s loop again. I see the Sheriff’s boat idling under the Hennepin Ave bridge upstream.
This short, middle aged, slighly overweight woman in nice clothes (but not business formal) walks by going the other way. Cell phone held to her ear. She doesn’t say a word or make a sound into the “phone” as she approaches or after she passes me. She has a small walkie in her other hand.
At the end of the bridge, a Metro Transit Police SUV is now on the sidewalk, facing the Depot, with it’s lights on. The guy inside doesn’t look like a metro cop. Dark suit, sunglasses, several radios and a laptop.
I note several other people in business casual also wandering around with these “cellphones” held to their ears and not a one of them is actually talking.
I walk toward metal wife beater on my way back to my building. He steps out of the doorway and walks toward and past me. “Cellphone” plastered to his ear. Not making a sound into his ‘phone’.
My building security is making repeated passes around the outside of the building.
Interesting security setup they have these days. I kind a like how they roll. Lots of people around blending in, not an obvious heavy police presence that makes people nervous and causes more problems. I only really noticed them because I have the Security background.
Now that being said, the worst clusterfuck of security we ever saw here was whenever VP Cheney would roll into town. Figured, given his reputation for paranoia and “security”. I was driving on the crosstown, NOT in a location where Cheney would be going past on his way from downtown to the airport, when they suddenly blocked the road and all of the exits. We were forced to sit on the highway for 45 minutes and NOT allowed off. We ended up turning off our cars, getting out and milling about. One cop kinda wandered through and told us to get back in our cars, but no one listened to him and he made no effort beyond a quick walkthrough.
Mods, if this is not the proper forum, please feel free to move it anywhere but the Pit. This is not intended to be a pit thread.