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Homeland Security ????

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
The article below just in from the Detroit News.

I thought homeland security was the number one priority? Or is that education? Or catching Osama? Or is it now catching Saddam? Or is it the economy? What is the number one priority these days? I'd say it's not homeland security, based on this.

Hmmm... one of the busiest border crossing day of the year... only laid off in Michigan (instead of, say, spreading it around one here and one there so it wouldn't impact any area greatly). Less than 2 weeks from Sept 11. Lots of tall buildings in Detroit. And Chicago.

Your thoughts?

Wednesday, August 27, 2003
U.S. lays off 27 border inspectors in Michigan
Homeland Security officials say they lack money to pay them

By George Hunter / The Detroit News

DETROIT -- The Department of Homeland Security has laid off 27 border inspectors in Michigan, days before Labor Day weekend -- one of the state's busiest times for border crossings, a union official said Tuesday.

Homeland Security officials last week informed 27 inspectors in Michigan not to report to work, Frank Stanczak, president of Local 46 of the American Federation of Government Employees said.

"This compromises national security," Stanczak said. "With Labor Day coming, and the United Nations building in Iraq being bombed just 10 days ago ... my big fear is that security is being compromised.

"They're taking away 27 seasoned inspectors right before the Labor Day weekend, which is one of our biggest border crossing periods. The timing couldn't be worse."

Kevin Weeks, director of the agency's field operations in Detroit, said 27 employees were put on an inactive status because funding for them ran out. They will be recalled when there is money.

He said the temporary manpower reductions will not affect safety or border crossing operations.

The employees were originally hired to fill in for regular inspectors when they were off, but recently many had been working full time.

Currently on nonduty status are eight inspectors in Sault Ste. Marie; seven at the Ambassador Bridge; six at the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel; and six in Port Huron, Stanczak said.

Stanczak also was steamed about the way the layoffs were handled.

"They called people at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday and told them not to report to work at midnight," he said. "(The inspectors) asked them if they could have something in writing, but they were refused."

Stanczak said Homeland Security officials told him Michigan was the only state in which inspectors were being laid off.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. You can reach George Hunter at (313) 222-2027 or ghunter@detnews.com
post #2 of 5
I swear there were replies to this thread......

IMO, most of this whole Homeland Security is new measures that will interfere with the individual freedom of Americans while doing very little to actually protect us.

Those who are willing to give up freedom for security will find that they will have neither.

(I think that's a paraphrase of a Thomas Jefferson or Ben Franklin quote, but I'm not 100% sure.)
post #3 of 5
I got back from a trip to the U.S. yesterday, and I have to say that I wasn't too impressed with airport security. I flew from Stuttgart, and security had been tightened, even though it always was pretty good because of Germany's past experiences with RAF terrorists. My bags were screened by border guards, and then I had to go through two security checks, which included being frisked and removing my shoes, one immediately before boarding at the gate. After getting off the plane in Atlanta, we all had to go through another security check before entering the airport proper. So far, so good. But then I spent about 6 hours walking around the airport while waiting for my connecting flight, and the only difference from past trips was that I had to show identification before boarding. What if I'd been a terrorist with an accomplice working at the airport, and he/she had slipped me some sort of weapon? I could easily have stolen utensils in a restaurant and used them to threaten airline personnel. On the way back, my bags were checked by security personnel in Omaha, and I had to go through a metal detector. That was it. There was no further check in Atlanta, and again I walked all around the airport. Why so much security on the way into the country, and then practically nothing for my domestic flight and the flights (one domestic, one international) back? That makes about as much sense as laying off border guards.
post #4 of 5
It's bad enough that they laid these personnel off but then to announce they did? Oy vey!

I get the homeland security news alert every so often in email- what a colossal joke. Politically driven only no thought to public safety at all. IMO this whole new committee is a joke and not being managed properly. I would even venture a guess that funds are being pocketed and not utilized where they should be.
post #5 of 5
It is sad. Last year, I traveled by air and was extremely disappointed by one airline's security (or lack thereof) at, of all places, Newark Liberty! I fired off an email to Homeland Security and never got so much as a response or acknowledgement of receipt.

What next? A huge inquiry after the next attack to figure out where things went wrong? First NASA and then this? At least these investigators won't be out of jobs.....
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