State officials responsible for tightening security are having to weigh the threat of terrorism against the worst budget woes in a half-century. They say they are also learning how to use their resources more intelligently.
While terrorist targets such as New York and Washington are again beefing up security, other state and local governments are doing a little less than they did for the last “orange” terror alert, during the Iraq war.
That alert lasted a month and stretched many security budgets to their limits. So when the government raised the terror alert to high on Tuesday, some emergency management officials set their priorities more carefully.
New York has been on a constant high alert since the World Trade Center attack. The same intelligence that led the federal government to raise its alert level this week also prompted the New York Police Department to begin spending about $700,000 a day on security – twice as much as it had been.