Since the September 11th attacks, visiting the Statue of Liberty has been quite the hassle, thanks to security concerns. Visitors are screened at Battery Park and are forced to toil and wait in long, slow lines. If tourists and visitors want a “two-fer” and plan to visit both Ellis Island and Liberty Island, they were forced to go through a second security screening process at Liberty Island in order to enter the statueâ€™s pedestal or crown. The headache is enough to make visitors and out-of-towners want to find something else to do while in Manhattan.
The talks to create a new, streamlined security process have been resurrected after various state, local and federal agencies had reached a standstill. They have yet to come up with a new plan. It’ll come down to the amount of checkpoints necessary and required for the safety of all visitors.
“The U.S. Park Police, New York City Police Department, the mayorâ€™s office and Interior Secretary (Ken) Salazarâ€™s office are all sitting down, going through the proposal by detail,” said Oliver Spellman, the Northeast senior program manager for the National Parks Conservation Association. “They’ve reopened the conversation with more agencies involved.” While there was a suggestion to bring the security operation to Ellis Island, Park Police do not want visitors to board ferries to Ellis Island without a security check to begin with.
â€œTheyâ€™re trying to see if they can find a way that works out for everyone, even if they could find a location outside of Battery Park,” the NPCA representative said. â€œTheyâ€™d rather err on the side of security, and that’s really the question: how many checkpoints do you really need.â€
The new World Trade Center site is scheduled to open with a 9/11 memorial planned for September 11, 2011, which is the tenth anniversary of the terror attacks. The site will eventually have 673 officers assigned to patrol it and keep it safe.
The Washington PostÂ reports that New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly revealed the news on Tuesday when he spoke about the security needs for the 9/11 memorial and the new buildings that are slated to open after the fact. The full 673 officers wonâ€™t be in place until all the buildings on the site are completely erected. Kelly also acknowledged that the memorial and the site require special attention and even more security detail because they remain terrorist targets.
Do you think 673 offices is enough to keep the site safe?
Reuters reports that the New York Police Department, which is dealing with an infestation of mice at its lower Manhattan headquarters at 1 Police Plaza, is the recipient of both praise and a â€œcompassion awardâ€ from animal rights organization PETA (People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals), thanks to the humane methods the PD employs when battling an outbreak of rodents.
The NYPD has replaced glue traps, which kill mice slowly and in a cruel fashion as they struggle to escape, with fast, efficient devices that snap their necks and kill them instantly. The PD elected to use the new traps after PETA appealed directly to Commissioner Ray Kelly to use something fast if a lethal method is the only choice in solving the problem. Spokesman Paul Browne said, â€œWe found other alternatives that would dispatch them more humanely.â€
What do you think of the NYPDâ€™s decision to take advice from PETA in dealing with rodent infestation?