ADDABBO: WE HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO IN SECURING AREAS TEN YEARS AFTER 9/11
Senate Revisits Public Protection Concerns
Queens, NY, April 12, 2011 – NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Queens), who serves as ranking Minority member on the Senate’s Veterans, Homeland Security, & Military Affairs Committee, participated in this past Friday’s public hearing on Homeland Security 10 years later after September 11, 2001, to listen and respond to testimony on public protection since the terrorist attacks. Among the attending witnesses were Peter King, United States Congressman and Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security; Michael O’Meara, Executive Vice President of the Metropolitan Transit Authority Police Benevolent Association; Richard Daddario, NYPD Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Counterterrorism; and Douglas Zeigler, Director of Security for the Metropolitan Transit Authority.
While the hearing became increasingly contentious when the topic of religious sects were being discussed, the first half of the hearing included testimony from the NYPD, MTA, the Port Authority and other public safety personnel. “The critical issues were the lack of funding allocations for improved security measures and the need for upgrading the communication systems between our safety-related agencies,” stated Senator Addabbo. It was mentioned at the hearing that some of the radios and means of communicating among the agencies were over 20 years old. Addabbo said that he intends to discuss with the Port Authority the issue of security at JFK Airport and on the Airtrain.
Congressman King spoke at great length as to how terrorist threat levels are as high as 9/11, and reiterated that these are very real threats as we approach the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Michael O’Meara gave insight as to the issue of communication between the Metropolitan Transit Authority Police and the ongoing discussions with the MTA to correct and improve radio frequency communications between MTA Police and the MTA. The radio system, according to Mr. O’Meara, has not worked since its implementation some 20 years ago.
The use and placement of security cameras on New York State tunnels, bridges and pedestrian areas was explained by Douglas Ziegler. Currently, almost 4,000 cameras have been placed within the MTA system, with the intention of more to come.
A future similar Senate hearing concerning the status of security measures since the 9/11 tragedy is being scheduled in Albany.
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Together with above release, here are two complementary statements from the Senator:
Queens, NY, April 12, 2011 – Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., released the following statement on NYS Senate Homeland Security Hearing held on Friday, April 8, 2011:
It was my intent to participate in a focused hearing which was to examine the security of the New York City residents, and surrounding areas, ten years after the tragedy of 9/11. Based on the testimony of witnesses and my questioning of those witnesses, my main concern continues to be the governmental funding and interaction of the entities involved in maintaining the safety of individuals, namely the NYPD, FDNY, MTA and Port Authority. I intend, as the ranking member of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, to continue my efforts in finding the means available to improve the safety and security of people locally and throughout the city and state.
Queens, NY, April 12, 2011 – Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., released the following statement on the witness list for the NYS Senate Homeland Security Hearing held on Friday, April 8, 2011:
As I have previously stated, I intended to participate in a NYS Senate hearing focused on the public safety of individuals in New York City, ten years after the 9/11 tragedy. In my opinion, there should have been separate hearings with one having witnesses from governmental entities who would testify as to their plans to secure people and another, separate hearing with witnesses of all backgrounds giving testimony on their cultural and ideological theories toward their views on Americans. The global issue of terrorism as it pertains to our safety is so complex and intricate, that I believe separate Senate hearings were warranted.
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