Battery Park Security Tents Moving to Ellis Island in March, Report Says
BATTERY PARK CITY — The long-debated security tents in Battery Park could soon be a thing of the past, according to a report.
In March, the National Park Service plans to remove the much-maligned security tents used to screen visitors before they board the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Crain's New York Business reported.
The Park Service would instead screen the travelers once they arrived on Ellis Island, before they went on to the Statue of Liberty, according to the plan.
The tents, which sit in front of Castle Clinton and require all visitors to pass through metal detectors, were set up in the wake of 9/11 to provide extra security for one of the country's most recognizable landmarks.
Downtown residents have long complained about the congestion created by the unsightly tents, but the NYPD has expressed concerned that removing the airport-style security could pose a safety threat at the federally controlled parkland.
And even though National Park Service officials said they plan to remove the tents in March, the NYPD still isn't on board.
"The NYPD did not endorse the National Park Service plan to move all passenger inspection operations to Ellis Island," Paul Browne, the NYPD's chief spokesman, said in a statement to Crain's. "We have recommended that screening be conducted, as has long been the practice, before passengers board the ferries for the trip to Ellis Island."
The security tents have not been used in months, because Liberty and Ellis islands have both been closed since suffering extensive damage in Hurricane Sandy.
The National Park Service told Crain's that the agency is hoping to reopen the islands this spring or summer, either for Memorial Day or the Fourth of July.