SAFE SEAS: PROTECTING AMERICA’S FERRIES AGAINST CRIMINAL MASS-CASUALTY INCIDENTS
Blindbury, Steven A.
Dahl, Erik J.
Peters, Lynda A.
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The U.S. ferry system is one of the few remaining transportation sectors that has not been hardened for a mass-casualty attack, and the unrestricted ability of passengers to carry firearms onto vessels could enable a lone actor or group to perpetrate an active-shooter event while at sea. The proactive security measures and strategies developed by the government agencies responsible for maritime security are insufficient—inadequate even in responding to an active shooter—and might result in a large number of casualties. An analysis of government studies and current intelligence indicates that there are significant gaps in ferry security, especially concerning the threat of an active-shooter attack. This thesis investigates the exponential improvement in the security posture of the U.S. ferry system through the adaption and implementation of the best practices successfully enacted in other transportation domains as well as the benefits in the mitigation of potential mass-casualty events in this public conveyance. Such a strategy requires transitioning traditional law enforcement and military roles to the maritime civilian workforce.
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