Officials: Statue of Liberty Security Plans Leave Visitors Vulnerable

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NEW YORK (AP) -- New York officials say new security plans for the Statue of Liberty could leave visitors vulnerable to terrorism when the island reopens on July Fourth.

The National Park Service has decided to move security screening to nearby Ellis Island.

Sen. Charles Schumer and New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly say that decision should be reversed.

Previously, passengers were screened before they boarded boats at Battery Park in Lower Manhattan and Liberty State Park in New Jersey. Noting that procedure was put in place just after 9/11, Kelly says terrorist groups "have an interest in targeting locations that represent America" and "the threat has not abated."

The statue was closed after Superstorm Sandy flooded Liberty Island in October. Schumer praised the park service for its "quick cleanup and repair efforts" after the storm but called the new screening procedure a mistake that should be rethought.

Park service representatives did not immediately respond to comment requests on Monday.

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