RealNews

In New York, security's comfort – and cost

A city calibrates rising risks and shrinking funds as sirens wail and guards ride subways. John Pena sits on a police barricade outside Grand Central Terminal, sipping coffee as he surveys the half-dozen police cars. He shakes his head. “I saw military guys with machine guns in the mezzanine,” he says. “To some degree it makes me feel safe, but also, not safe at all.” With that, Mr. Pena sums up the conflict many New Yorkers feel about the dramatic increase in police and military presence since the war began – a fusion of comfort and fear that mirrors a rising ambivalence nationwide. As cities beef up security, they face nagging questions about the measures’ effectiveness as well as their costs. In some places, the need to guard against terrorism competes with local police duties. In others, residents fear civil liberties are being sacrificed. Despite the show of force, New York is working with a handicap. The city has 36,500 police officers – 4,000 fewer than two years ago. Another 1,300 have been assigned to special counterterrorism duties. So they’re trying, in Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s words, to “tighten the protective web” with fewer resources. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

OODA is comprised of a unique team of international experts capable of providing advanced intelligence and analysis, strategy and planning support, risk and threat management, training, decision support, crisis response, and security services to global corporations and governments.