Obama pays surprise visit to NYPD HQs, greets officers

On a surprise visit to New York Police HQs, Obama lauded the officers who responded to failed Times Square bomb attempt.

New York: On a surprise visit to the New York Police Headquarters here, President Barack Obama lauded the officers who responded to the failed Times Square bomb attempt and the successful probe thereafter.

"I know you folks are busy, but I just wanted to come by and say thank you," Obama told the officers at One Police Plaza, the headquarters of the New York Police Department, in his brief remarks yesterday.

Obama was accompanied by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and police commissioner Ray Kelly.
"I was telling the (New York) mayor and the (New York Police) commissioner that the work that the NYPD does in coordination with state, local, and federal officials when it comes to counter-terrorism is a model for the country. It has been for some time," he said.

NYPD foiled an attempt by Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani who became a naturalised US citizen, on May 01. Two days later, Shahzad was arrested two days later while trying to escape to Dubai on an Emirates flight.

"I don`t think I need to tell you that given the potential for attack everywhere in the country, we`ve got a lot to learn from what is taking place here. Number one, you guys do a great job coordinating with other law enforcement," he said.

"Number two, you are just professional and exhibit excellence at all times when carrying out your job. Number three, and what we saw in Times Square, is you know how to get the community involved, and raising community awareness is absolutely critical. And as a consequence, you have saved an awful lot of lives," the US President said.