Schumer criticizes homeland security effort

| Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, recently graded as a C-minus U.S. efforts to make the homeland more secure – the mediocre grade in part due to failing marks for truck security, The Associated Press reported.

"I've come to the conclusion that the federal government in terms of protecting New York gets barely a passing grade," Schumer, chairman of the Senate Democratic Task Force on Homeland Security, said at a news conference at his Manhattan offices.

"A C-minus is not good enough when you're protecting our country, our city, our state and dealing with people's lives," he said.

Specifically, Schumer said government needed to do more to screen cargo that often is transported on passenger planes, check for radioactive material on containers arriving on ships and probe trucks entering the state.

"There's real vulnerability, and the terrorists sooner or later will exploit it," Schumer said. Schumer acknowledged that since September 11, the federal government has given the region millions to prepare for terrorism, but he insisted it wasn't enough.

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