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Citing Danger, Schumer Calls for Scrapping New Screening Plan for Statue of Liberty

Citing Danger, Schumer Calls for Scrapping New Screening Plan for Statue of Liberty

Senator Charles E. Schumer called on the National Park Service on Monday to scrap what he called a dangerous new security plan for the Statue of Liberty, saying that it could leave visitors to the tourist attraction vulnerable to a terrorist attack.

For nearly two years now, the New York Police Department has opposed the Park Service’s plan to screen visitors to the statue at central points on Liberty and Ellis Islands, which were badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy and are scheduled to reopen on July 4. In early 2011, Ken Salazar, then the secretary of the interior, intended to announce the change, but he held off because of stiff objections from the police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly.

Prompted by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Park Service had for more than a decade conducted airport-style security checks at tented pavilions in Battery Park or in Liberty State Park in Jersey City before passengers boarded ferryboats to the statue. The people who run Battery Park, the Battery Conservancy, wanted the pavilion removed because it was unsightly and clogged the park with tourists.

The Park Service tried to find a nearby alternative, considering Pier A, then a Coast Guard building, but could not reach a deal and so decided to move the screening to Ellis and Liberty Islands.

Source: NYT

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