Cost of Keeping America Safe From ‘Lone Wolf’ Shootings Shifts to Business

Posted Jun 29, 2016

(TNS) - The people handling security for the nation’s busiest malls and amusement parks are no longer retired cops. They are a 24-year veteran of the FBI, a former CIA operative and the onetime chief of counterterrorism for Scotland Yard.

The theme-park industry’s annual security bill, already roughly $250 million a year, is expected to grow by more than $100 million over the next few years, according to one consultant. Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood and SeaWorld all installed metal detectors outside their gates for the first time in December.

“Lone wolf” shootings, including those at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., this month, and in San Bernardino in December, have forced businesses to shoulder more of the cost and responsibility of securing America against terrorism.

The coordinated terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, led airlines to spend billions more to secure airports, backed by passenger fees. But assailants such as Omar Mateen, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik chose more diffuse targets where they could inflict the largest number of casualties as quickly as possible.
Now businesses that bring large groups of people together are pouring ever-increasing amounts of money into the quixotic task of keeping them safe.

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