9/11 Anniversary Has Experts Reflecting On Homeland Security

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Are we safer? That’s the debate this week, as Americans reflect on the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Adam May reports analysts and watchdogs say the answer is mixed.

A former high-ranking official in the U.S. Department of Justice says the nation’s budget problems are having a negative impact on homeland security.

Michael Greenberger with the University of Maryland School of Law is one of the nation’s leading experts on counterterrorism. He says a lot has changed since 9/11 but there’s a lingering problem.

Reporter: “If you could identify one thing to improve homeland security, what would it be?”
Greenberger: “Money.”

The federal government spends $55 billion a year on homeland security, but there are fewer people on the frontline– like firefighters and police– because state and local governments have been hit hard by the recession.

“We don’t have the personnel or resources, and the American public has to understand, when we talk about tax revenues, having wealthy pay their fair share, we’re really talking about protecting the community,” Greenberger said.

On Capitol Hill, senators discuss a new report that reveals continued gaps in port security and unresolved weaknesses in airport security. But overall, the U.S. is better prepared. Greenberger says the 2004 reorganization of spy agencies was key.

Greenberger: “I have a lot more faith in intelligence services today than on Sept.10, 2001.”
Reporter: “Why? Because they’re sharing information?”
Greenberger: “There’s much more coordination. We’re much safer since 9/11.”

Gov. Martin O’Malley and members of Maryland’s Congressional Delegation will be reflecting on Maryland’s homeland security at a conference at the University of Maryland School of Law Friday.

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