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Exclusive: NYPD Commissioner Bratton talks about plans to keep city safe ahead of Pope’s historic visit

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NEW YORK -- The month is only four days old but it is shaping up to be like no other in terms of events for the city.

The rundown is impressive as it is exhausting.

There is Monday's West Indian Day Parade, the U.S. Open, the memorial ceremonies planned around 9/11, both the Yankees and the Mets are in the playoff hunt, Madonna has three concerts in the city, there is Fashion week, the high holy days of the Jewish community, the Clinton Global Initiative conference, the UN General Assembly --- which will include President Barack Obama as well as nearly every world leader --- and the historic visit of Pope Francis.

Much to do, much to see, and if you are NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, much to protect, "I think we can safely say that in modern times there has never been a month quite like this month for New York City in the complexity and amount of events occurring within that 30-day time frame."

PIX 11 News followed Bratton exclusively throughout Times Square Friday afternoon as the commissioner, along with his team, including Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism John Miller, not only surveyed the ever-changing layout of the corridor but also as the commissioner made it a point to greet officers inside of the well-known substation.

However, as the most powerful member of law enforcement in the city made his way through Times Square, it was intriguing to observe Bratton sailing through the corridor in a sea of anonymity, "99 out of 100 people walking through this square wouldn't know me from a hole in the wall. It is funny that I am one of the most recognizable people in the city to people who live here but it truly reflects that this is or once was the crossroads of the world."

A crossroads that no longer reflects its name as Broadway is now no way in some stretches. In its place are plazas filled with tourists as well as characters and entertainers who have generated notorious headlines of late.

Commissioner Bratton did speak to the addition of of more cops to the sector but he also commented on the efforts to enhance technology in an effort to make the public safer from crimes that range from low level to the diabolical.

"We will be putting in camera systems that will effectively give us the capability of some of what you see in these screens here, the ability to have that typed of clarity and... Terrorism is always an issue apart from traffic and crowd management in this square," Bratton said.

Crowd management is not only for the square but throughout Manhattan as it will escalate during the Pope's visit. An unprecedented event as a result of its timing, as the papal visit will coincide with the UN's General Assembly.

"This year they anticipate a historic number of heads of state coming in because the Pope is going to address the U.N.," Bratton said.

Bratton then added President Obama after almost making him an oversight, "And then we have the President of the United States, I almost forgot him, pretty good when he becomes almost an afterthought -- and all of the complexity of protecting him."

In the end, it is the complexities of the city combined with the energy that fuels it, whether it's this month or any other, that Bratton says makes the city special.

"Everywhere you go in the city, that is the exciting thing about it," Bratton said. "There is an energy I would argue unlike anyplace else in America."