TEK chief: Several thousand police officers to provide security to pope in Budapest

Several thousand police officers will provide maximum security and protect Pope Francis during his upcoming visit to Budapest on September 12, Janos Hajdu, the chief of Hungary counter-terrorism force TEK, said on Friday.

Pope Francis is scheduled to celebrate the closing mass of the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress at Heroes’ Square at 11.30am on Sunday.

Hajdu said no information indicating a threat to the pope has emerged either at the Hungarian authorities, or at major national security services or the Vatican gendarmerie which means that there are no technical obstacles to the visit.

A critical point during the visit will be the pontiff’s journey in the Popemobile, which is when he will be the closest to visitors of the event, Hajdu said, adding that anyone allowed to enter the restricted area will undergo security checks.

Hajdu said the route of the papal visit from the Budapest airport to Heroes’ Square and relevant security measures had been planned in advance in cooperation with the Vatican gendarmerie. Pope Francis’ personal security will be provided by TEK and the gendarmerie together, he said.

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