Police: Obama Security Will Be Handled With Usual Level of Professionalism ({{commentsTotal}})

Kristian Jaani, the head of the police force's North Prefecture, said all high-level state visits are different but that as the Estonian police forces have a long history of providing security for foreign dignitaries, both the public and the VIPs will be well served on the day of US President Barack Obama's visit.

He told ETV's Ringvaade program that US President Barack Obama's visit on September 3 is a great task for the Estonian police, but the police will have help from its partners.

Jaani said the highest level of security available in Estonia will be provided to Obama, with 1,500 police officers involved, as well as Estonian, foreign and US partners. He said the visit will be different from former US President George W. Bush's visit in 2006, adding that the global political situation will also be taken into account by the police.

“People will be allowed to come to their windows and look outside. It is unusual if someone tried to throw a broom handle out of a window. That is unusual and will draw our attention,” Jaani said, adding that "usual, day-to-day activities of people will still be allowed."

Police will stop traffic for a maximum of 15 minutes when the motorcade drives past, Jaani said, adding that it would still be better to avoid driving in the area, as even short delays can cause traffic to back up all the way into the outlying districts.

Interior Minister Hanno Pevkur put the cost of Obama's visit for taxpayers at 0.5 million euros. There will be some closures of public buildings on September 2 as well for security sweeps.

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