Waltham, Newton, and homeland security

Spotted this article in the Herald today, about Homeland Security grants going to supposedly questionable security projects in the suburbs. Waltham is listed as one of the "leafy suburbs" that has received such a grant, but the article doesn't describe what it was for.

The Herald reporter, Dave Wedge, is wrong about this. Terrorists struck high-profile facilities in urban areas the last time, but the next attack may very well take place in a leafy suburb like Waltham, or Newton. They derive joy for causing pain, suffering, and terror, and "symbolic" targets -- or targets which could hurt or kill large numbers of people -- seem to be more likely targets than randomly selected targets. If I were Homeland Security, I would be working closely with the Waltham and Newton police departments to make sure the following facilities get extra attention:

- Schools and universities with religious affliations, or large numbers of students from a particular religious group

- Churches and temples

- Reservoirs

- I-90 and I-95, and large buildings adjacent to or over these highways

- Shopping malls

Providing extra security for these potential targets -- or setting up countermeasures to prevent attacks -- is not something local police departments can do in their spare time, or on their own coin. It takes training, equipment, and other resources that "leafy suburbs" cannot afford. This is where Homeland Security grants can help.

I hope this careless Herald article doesn't harm Newton or Waltham's efforts to become more safe in this regard.


Anonymous Kristine said...

Plus, these 'burbs are DIRECTLY outside of Boston, probably also making it less safe than a suburb like Lexington, Framingham, or something like that...

11:40 AM  

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