NYPD Commish Adds 'The Statue of Liberty Is An Iconic Target'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has for the first time voiced his frustrations with new federal security rules for the Statue of Liberty.

Officials said visitors will now be screened on Ellis Island after facilities at Liberty State Park and Battery Park were destroyed during superstorm Sandy.

Kelly said the only way to protect the symbol of liberty and freedom is to screen passengers before they get on the ferries. He added he’s not sure why the federal government isn’t listening to the NYPD’s concerns.

“It may have something to do with the sequester, I’m not certain. But we think that it is necessary in this day and age to have that layer of protection in Manhattan before people get on a boat to go to the island,” Kelly told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.

Kelly said the ferries are vulnerable under the current security procedures.

“We live in a dangerous world. The Statue of Liberty is an iconic target, that’s a fact of life. So we think screening in Manhattan is a reasonable and common sense approach to protecting the island,” the commissioner said.

Kelly says he wrote to the interior secretary last week regarding the issue.

“I’ve expressed that concern in the letter. Hopefully, we’ll be able to work something out before July 4th,” Kelly added. “I think it’s a cause of concern. It should be a cause for concern for them and certainly for us as well.”

The National Park Service has said it will have additional security in Battery Park, Diamond reported. The Statue of Liberty is scheduled to reopen on July 4 for the first time since Sandy hit.

The statue itself is on higher ground and was not damaged.

Last week, tickets went on sale to visit the Statue of Liberty from July 4 through Sept.

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