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Police stay on Rudy duty

January 9, 2003

Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani will retain his police detail, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said yesterday, despite statements to the contrary by top-ranking department officials a month ago.

Kelly justified Giuliani's continued police presence by saying the former mayor had "a national and international profile."

"As a result of his service to the city, we believe that a threat potential was created," Kelly said. "He does have a security detail protecting him."

He did not outline specific threats, saying, "I think we have to look at it in the context of Sept. 11."

Kelly spoke in response to a reporter's question during a news conference at One Police Plaza. He said he would not discuss the details of Giuliani's protection but said the decision was made for "security" and not for political reasons.

Earlier in the day Giuliani had testified in court about his role in the firing of a police officer and two firefighters in 1998 after they appeared on a racist float in Broad Channel.

After his court appearance, Giuliani spoke to reporters surrounded by at least four police officers in plainclothes. They left in what appeared to be an unmarked patrol car.

Newsday reported last year that Giuliani retained at least a dozen full-time police officers who protected him, his former wife, Donna Hanover, his two children, his fiance, Judith Nathan, and his late mother at an annual cost to the city of close to $1 million.

Late last year, department officials said Hanover's security had been discontinued and Kelly said Giuliani's detail was continually being "re-evaluated." Officials suggested it was nearly ended.

However, sources familiar with the detail said that last month Giuliani interceded with Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"The mayor based his decision on what the commissioner knows," said Bill Cunningham, Bloomberg's director of communications. Giuliani's spokeswoman Sunny Mindel declined to comment.

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© 2003 Newsday, Inc. Reprinted with permission.