Tighter security a reality of post-9/11 America

September 11, 2013 7:25:46 PM PDT
In the 12 years since Sept. 11, tighter security has become a part of our everyday lives. Despite privacy and civil rights concerns, many people simply now accept it as the only way to protect our safety.

"It's sad because that's the way it's turned out; it's sad that as a whole we can't go anywhere or do anything without looking behind you, having security," Bay Area resident Veronica Hillyard said.

Security cameras are now everywhere. The Port of Oakland alone has 130 cameras. The Bay Bridge and our roadways are monitored with the largest led video installation on the West Coast.

Government buildings now have physical defenses against attacks. The old federal building has concrete barricades to protect it from truck bombings. The new federal building was built with a protective cage around the high-rise.

Security checkpoints are now commonplace.

Perhaps the biggest inconvenience is at airports, where travelers now take in stride a routine security ritual.

"It's part of life; we know getting on the planes and what to do and yeah, I'm prepared for it," Bay Area resident Penny Davis said.

It's even affected our recreation. The America's Cup is being held under the protection of the Coast Guard. And our favorite pastime hasn't been the same ever since. At the Giants game Wednesday, fans stood patiently waiting to be screened and their bags checked.

"I'm OK with it; these days it's like you never have enough, it's great to be prepared, you're never over prepared," Giants fan Ryan Johnson said.

With all the cameras, the checkpoints and police, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr says the most effective security measure is still the watchful eyes of the public.

"Anything that just seems outside the ordinary, I think people are reporting it now, whereas before they would discount it," Suhr said.

As the saying goes, "If you see something, say something."


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