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National Special Security Event

From Academic Kids

United States Department of Homeland Security

A National Special Security Event (NSSE) is declared by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to assume federal control of security measures normally employed by local law enforcement. It also releases federal funding for security plans. Though not declared by DHS which did not exist yet, the first NSSE after the September 11, 2001 attacks was the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Most recent NSSE's include the 2004 Democratic National Convention and 2004 Republican National Convention. Major sports events such as the annual Super Bowl are automatically considered an NSSE.

In the event an NSSE is declared, the United States Secret Service is charged with employing and coordinating all federal and local agencies including the various bureaus of DHS, the FBI, and police departments to secure the venue from terrorist attacks. The declaration of an NSSE was established by President Bill Clinton in a portion of Presidential Decision Directive 62 in May 1998.

Former attorney general John Ashcroft once said that "it is sad commentary" [1] (http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0406/08/pzn.01.html) when an NSSE must be declared. But it is the case because the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 destroyed any notion that Americans could ever again take their safety for granted and there are ongoing threats of a terrorist attack, possibly by al Qaeda, the group responsible for the attacks on September 11. This sends two dreadful messages: major events have significance and terrorists want to disrupt it.

Some of the security measures people can expect on the scene when they attend a major event that is declared an NSSE:

List of past NSSE's

Dates: 31 July - 3 August 2000
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Dates: 14 August - 17 August 2000
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: 20 January 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Dates: 13 September 2001 - ?
Location: New York, New York
Dates: 8 February - 24 February 2002
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Dates: 21 May - 22 May 2002
Location: Washington, DC
Dates: 8 June - 10 June 2004
Location: Sea Island, GA
Dates: 9 June - 11 June, 2004
Location: Washington, DC, Simi Valley, Ca.
Attorney General John Ashcroft told a Senate hearing before the funeral: "It is a sad commentary when the observation of a memorial service for a former president of the United States must be labled a national security special event. Such is the fact of modern life in Washington, and such is the nature of the war against al Qaeda."
Dates: 26 July - 29 July 2004
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Dates: 30 August - 2 September 2004
Location: New York, New York
Date: 20 January 2005
Location: Washington, DC
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