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The NYPD at GZ - An idea whose time has come

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 6:15 pm    Post subject: The NYPD at GZ - An idea whose time has come
From Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:00 am to Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:59 am (included)
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Skyscraper Safety Campaign

For immediate release: 3/27/08
Prof. Glenn Corbett 201-993-2814
Sally Regenhard 646-266-1987

NYPD to Assume Security & Policing Role at Ground Zero -
An Idea Whose Time Has Come

The Skyscraper Safety Campaign (SSC) commends recent reports that NYPD has expressed interest in running all security operations at the WTC site. This is indeed an idea whose time has come.

SSC has grave reservations regarding the ability of the Port Authority to adequately and comprehensively implement crucial planning, design, access, staffing and screening operations that will be necessary at this complex and critically sensitive location which has been the target of two previous terrorist attacks.

During the past six years, the NYPD, under the stewardship of Commissioner Ray Kelly, has excelled in emergency preparedness, coordination and planning in NYC - something that was nearly non-existent before and during 9/11 on the part of the Port Authority as well as the City of NY.

The need for NYC/NYPD comprehensive oversight at GZ was evidenced in 2005 when - against strong opposition from the PA - Commissioner Kelly and the Bloomberg Administration called for security changes in the design and placement of the Freedom Tower. On May 5, 2005 former Gov. George Pataki announced that: "A new design for the Freedom Tower is required" citing security concerns raised by the NYPD. This past year, the Deutsche Bank debacle and loss of life of two more heroic Firefighters is glaring evidence of the need for NYC oversight in future WTC redevelopment.

Recently several security vulnerabilities have been exposed in and around GZ including failures of three towers to meet national blast resistance standards. In addition, SSC safety experts have deep concerns regarding the underground museum/memorial evacuation issues as well as the placement of an underground parking facility at GZ which flies in the face of responsible anti-terrorist planning by the PA..

The SSC and its expert advisors can think of no better solution for the residents of lower Manhattan who must live and work in the area, and the millions of tourists who will visit the WTC site, than to have the expertise of the NYPD assume comprehensive responsibility for the safety and security of the public at GZ.

The SSC calls for NYC to go one step further - and to require that the Port Authority renounce its exemptions and immunities from NYC codes - and rebuild the WTC under the legal jurisdiction of the FDNY and the Buildings Department. No buildings should be above the law in this city - this is the ultimate idea whose time has come.

Sally Regenhard, Chairperson
Monica Gabrielle, Co Chair
Prof. Glenn Corbett, Chief Technical Advisor,
The Skyscraper Safety Campaign
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