Since the events of the Newtown School Shooting and the Boston Marathon Bombing both cities have rebuilt themselves after suffering attacks in 2012 and 2013 that shook the cities and took the lives of many. As the responsible party of any facility or public event security planning and practice plays a vital part in a city subject to future acts of selfless acts of crimes or acts of terrorism. Societal structures, such as schools, malls and churches, are key elements of American lifestyles.
Public events such as concerts, marathons, or parades, host millions of people at any given time making them subjective to mass terrorist attacks. Terrorist groups focus on creating organized chaos and inflicting major damage on areas and people. Like the events of September 11th, terrorist events are not always in a particular area at a particular time. This was shown to be true with past events such as the Newton School Shootings and the Boston Marathon Shooting. Eli Saslow, author of “After Newtown shootings, Pennsylvania county hires armed school guards” explores previous school shootings and security.
The Washington Post discusses how security measures have changed from that of Columbine. It talks about the use of metal detectors, intercoms, surveillance systems, and now gun toting teachers. Education systems in Pennsylvania, Utah, and Tennessee are now training teachers to carry firearms, or hiring “security specialists” at a rate of $11.50 per hour (2013, para. 1). Frank Cichra, one of the paid officers protecting schools, ponders,” Was he protecting kids’ environment or changing it?” (2013). The basis of the article was to find additional ways to ensure that beyond placing schools on “threat alert” that the schools would be safe. In an article from The Examiner, titled “The Boston Marathon terrorist and immigration reform” author Hugh Hewitt discusses the issues of immigration reform and national security issues.
This most recent incident has brought about discussions on open discussions and support for amendments. The issue compares these debates to those that will take place in reference to the Newtown school shootings and the gun laws debate. The article focuses on the importance of background checks and entry-and-exit procedures. Although the article states that both of the bombers were legal immigrants it goes on to say that there is speculation that one of them may have left and returned in later years. Hewitt states that “Immigration reform is crucial for national security. But it has to be done the right way, and unless it is done that way this effort will collapse even as the misguided push for gun control collapsed” (2013, para. 14).
The Newton school shootings and the Boston Marathon bombing both had a profound effect on the way policies and procedures are carried out and by whom. These events were made significant because it brought back to the table important issues such as security at a national level, which includes the topics of gun control and immigration. Security planning at the national level has a direct emphasis on homeland security. A prime example of combining all levels of security, the vision of homeland security simply states: “The United States, through a concerted national effort that galvanizes the strengths and capabilities of Federal, State, local; the private and non-profit sectors; communities, and individual citizens — along with our partners in the international community — will work to achieve a secure Homeland that sustains our way of life” (Bellavita, 2008, para. 1).
National level security planning connects all sectors of security to provide protection for the United States against terrorism, different hazards, and catastrophic events. These changes have created a liaison that extends beyond United States territory and forces the updating of older policies. Bellvita quotes a definition from National Strategy For Homeland Security as “a concerted national effort to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce America’s vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize the damage and recover from attacks that do occur” (2008). Nationally, security planning will involve familiarity with foreign policies, key groups, and national terrorist warnings. One way the emphasis on homeland security affects security planning is the price tag on security.
The events discussed in this paper has spawned have changes in our criminal justice system and private security practices. Through these events communication with law makers, foreign influences, and United States citizens has increased awareness and accountability. Updating current systems, technologies, vehicles, and trainings have all brought a new structure to the emergency security protocol. A commonality of safety has carried the nation through its grief while enhancing security protocols and procedures.