With the news that Barron Trump will not be relocating to Washington after his father’s inauguration, the U.S. Secret Service faces twin unexpected challenges: serious traffic issues outside Barron’s New York City prep school, and a dangerous criminal gang that has been wreaking havoc on the school’s very block.
The New York Post reported Sunday that 10 year old Barron and his mother, Melania, will remain in New York after the inauguration so Barron can finish out the school year on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. His $40,000 a year school, located on a leafy residential block just off Central Park, doesn’t even have a driveway and is not configured to accommodate a high security entourage.
The street on which the school is located is also suffering from a rash of gang violence. The “Money Comes First” gang has been responsible for several bloody knife attacks in the immediate area.
Money Comes First, a tween gang, operates from a small public housing project around the corner from Barron’s school. The gang has been feuding with another gang from a larger public housing complex just a few blocks away. Much of the violence has been between rival gang members, although the gang’s adherents have been snatching cellphones and bags from children who attend Barron’s prep school and a well-regarded public school just down the block.
Just this month, a youth was slashed in the face half a block from Barron’s school and left a long trail of blood as he ran several blocks for help. Police said they believe the attack was gang-related.
Local police have struggled with neutralizing the youth gang for years, amid cries from neighbors for larger patrols to break the gang’s back.
And gang activity is not the only problem bedeviling Barron’s school and its neighbors. Traffic is also an enormous problem.
Even before Donald Trump’s election, Barron’s school was the focus of neighborhood complaints due to the large number of chauffeured SUVs dropping off and picking up extremely wealthy children each school day. New prohibitions, which include banning left turns near the school, preventing vehicles from blocking a bike lane, and installing a speed bump, will do little to temper the inevitable snarls from Barron’s Secret Service team.
According to the New York Post, Barron will have to arrive at school in an armored vehicle, and it’s not clear whether he will have to travel in a motorcade. Since his loving mother likes to accompany him to school and pick him up, her security detail will likely join the convoy. The Secret Service will have to sweep the school each morning. Teachers at the school have also been telling neighbors there is already security inside the school each day, a change from before Donald Trump’s election when the guards stayed outside.
Meanwhile across town, the area around Trump Tower — where Barron and Melania will continue to live post-inauguration — is already a nightmare, with two lanes closed off for Secret Service barriers on either side of the building, and security checkpoints set up to check shoppers’ baggage as they pass the it. The Secret Service says that it will likely have to shut down Fifth Avenue completely when Donald Trump himself is in town to take a break from DC.
Inside the building, tenants say the changes have been “crazy.”
The Secret Service is reportedly working to convince Trump to stay in Washington as much as possible. But even the NYPD knows it will have to spare extra manpower and expense to protect not just Trump Tower, but the several buildings scattered throughout the city that bear Trump’s eponymous name.