Edited by Harry W Richardson, Peter Gordon and James E. Moore II
Chapter 7: Balancing Freedom and Security after 9/11: Risk Management at the National Park Service
Larry Parkinson The terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 forced the US Department of the Interior and the National Park Service to confront a new reality: a number of America’s most cherished landmarks were potentially in the cross-hairs of international terrorists. From the Statue of Liberty to the National Mall to the St Louis Arch and beyond – representing many of the nation’s most powerful symbols of freedom and liberty – there was an immediate need to tighten security. Because these national icon sites were designed to attract millions of visitors in an open, welcoming environment, ﬁnding an appropriate balance between freedom and security has been an enormous challenge. This challenge is exacerbated by ﬁscal realities. Because of federal budget constraints, increases in security generally require trade-oﬀs in other programs. Consequently, before investing in new security measures, the Department of the Interior and the Park Service have engaged in a detailed risk assessment process, involving a series of critical questions, including the following. How real is the risk of a terrorist attack on a national icon? What are the likely consequences of a successful attack? What kinds of attacks are most likely, and which security precautions would be most eﬀective in deterring and mitigating the threat? If we invest in enhanced security measures, is there a quantiﬁable level of risk reduction to be achieved? This chapter sets forth the current public policy framework for national icon protection and the analytical framework for conducting risk assessments at key sites. It...
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