Statue of Liberty Visitors to Be Screened in Battery Park

The change comes after the National Park Service had initially said it wanted to screen visitors on Ellis Island

The federal government has changed plans and will screen Statue of Liberty visitors in lower Manhattan instead of letting them board boats to be checked later on Ellis Island, officials announced Monday.

The landmark opens July 4 after it was closed for repairs from Sandy.

Sen. Charles Schumer and NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly had called for the National Park Service to reverse its plan, which called for visitors to board boats either lower Manhattan or New Jersey before stopping at nearby Ellis Island for security.

"The NYPD and the Park Service have differences over how to best protect visitors from a potential terrorist attack," Kelly had said.

Mayor Bloomberg and Schumer announced Monday that the National Park Service has decided to conduct screenings in Battery Park, as the city had urged.

"It's the right decision, and an example of government agencies working together to achieve practical solutions," Bloomberg said.

Schumer said the change will let officials "maintain the maximum safety for visitors without interfering with the July 4th opening date."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us