RealNews

Terror Alerts Stretching Resources Thin

On a normal day at the Missouri Capitol, three private security guards stand watch over the metal detector at the main door. Now, with the nation on a high terror alert, they are joined by a single, full-time police officer with a gun. In many parts of America, that qualifies as “enhanced security.” State officials responsible for tightening security are having to weigh the threat of terrorism against the worst budget woes in a half-century. They say they are also learning from experience how to use their resources more intelligently. In Wisconsin, for example, police departments that increased patrols during previous alerts are now adding them only around critical installations, such as water treatment plants. “Every time we go through this, we get a little smarter about how we can meet this threat within the existing budgets,” said Ed Gleason, the Wisconsin emergency director whose state faces a $3.2 billion deficit through mid-2005. While terrorist targets such as New York and Washington are again beefing up security, other state and local governments are doing a little less than they did for the last “orange” terror alert, during the Iraq war. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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