RealNews

Higher Alert and Tighter Budgets

As the nation returned to a high level of alert, state, local and federal officials stepped up security today at sensitive sites. But many states stopped short of activating the National Guard, despite the Bush administration’s call for governors to deploy such troops or state police. Even as Tom Ridge, the secretary of homeland security, announced plans to safeguard everything from ports to air travelers to food supplies, many state domestic security chiefs and local emergency managers were still trying to find the right balance for a time of war and tight budgets. “If we know of a threat we will meet it and deal with the checkbook later,” said Clifford Ong, director of Indiana’s Counter-Terrorism and Security Council, “but absent a threat, we have to make real decisions on what we can do with National Guard and state police overtime. “One thing I’ve learned in my job is someone will always trump you in security measures — I put out three guards, somebody will say there should be four. That is an incredibly difficult balancing act.” In Massachusetts, Edward Flynn, the secretary of public safety, said, “We’re not going to fix people at locations for the purpose of calming people down.” Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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