A man is being honored by President Obama for more than 20 years of service to his country. The president recently met with Clarence Baugh, a man who has spent two decades clearing traffic for presidential motorcades in New York City. Mr. Baugh is a member of the NYPD, the police force that has a bad reputation for its poor relationship with minorities. Things worsened recently with the killing of Eric Garner in Long Island.
Baugh was excited about his chance to meet the president.
“It was an awesome experience,” Baugh said.
“[President Obama] was just saying, ‘Clarence, I appreciate everything you’re doing.’ ”
The 49-year old Baugh started with the NYPD in 1986 and was promoted to towing vehicles. He started working while under the service of President George H. W. Bush Sr. and was made part of a “sweep team” for the motorcade route.
“It’s normally clear, but every so often you may get one car that’s on the route,” Baugh said.
Baugh is the man responsible for towing any cars left on the motorcade route, but this is only after the bomb squad has a look to ensure that the vehicle is not a danger to citizens.
“It’s exciting being a part of that, especially when it’s the first black president,” Baugh said. “We’re make sure the pathway to whereever he has to go is clear.”
The recent visit by Obama was just another presidential visit for Baugh, as the president came into town for the UN meetings this week.
“We met at the South St. heliport and we took [Obama] to his first location, which was the U.N.,” Baugh said. “From there we went to the Sheraton.”