(NEW YORK) — The National Park Service intends to change its security screening plan for the Statue of Liberty and several prominent New Yorkers are up in arms.
Currently, visitors to Liberty Island, where the Statue of Liberty is located, are screened before they get on to the boats that take them to the island. The same is true for visitors to Ellis Island. The National Park Service proposes changing it so that visitors would be screened when they arrive on the islands.
Many think that the change poses a safety risk.
“The Statue of Liberty is a national symbol but unfortunately in this world of terrorism, it’s also a natural target,” said NYPD Chief Ray Kelly.
“I don’t think it’s wise to shift the screening from Manhattan to the potential target,” he said.
“It’s sort of saying we’re going to screen people at airports after they get off the plane rather than before they get on the plane,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, who also opposes the change.
The pre-boarding screenings were first put in place after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
In any case, there have been no tours to the Statue of Liberty recently. The island was damaged during Hurricane Sandy, but it is set to reopen July 4.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Jason Hanna and Deborah Feyerick, CNN
AJ Willingham, CNN