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Fort Vancouver National Monument Security a Joke

Expensive 4th of July security at Fort Vancouver, Washington allows uninspected vehicles for a crafts fair into site, while making a big show out of checking every handbag.
July 4th 2002

I took a walk past the security fence surrounding Fort Vancouver this morning about 8:00 am on July 4th. Citing terrorism as an excuse, the promoters of this years fireworks show have placed a large cyclone fence around the normally open park at Fort Vancouver, a reconstructed historic Hudson Bay Co. site.
People entering the grounds will have their belongings searched for the first time this year.

A Lawyer, supported by the ACLU tried this week to prevent the checkpoint, arguing on the grounds of "Unlawful Search and Seizure" without probable cause, but apparantly failed to get an injunction.

I observed as I strolled the grounds this morning, that a "craft fair" was being set up. Pick-up trucks full of boxes and tents were driving past the checkpoints without being inspected, and unloading their goods onto the site.
I asked a man selling handbags if any of his goods had been searched and he laughed and said no. He agreed that it was funny that *his* handbags wern't searched, but other people's were.

As I left the grounds I asked some CMS employess (the security company in charge) about this large and obvious Security breach, but they didn't have any answers. I made the comment that this year's overblown security measures were an obvious joke if individual salespeople can bring in truckloads of uninspected goods and I received "no comment."
'Fourth of July lawsuit resolved' 04.Jul.2002 11:29

web surfer boy

A July 2 press release from the City of Vancouver says: "City Attorney Ted Gathe announced today that a lawsuit filed against the City of Vancouver challenging a proposed security plan for the Fourth of July Fireworks Event had been resolved. The resolution which was negotiated prior to the start of a hearing in Clark County Superior Court retains the proposed security plan involving fencing and security checkpoints. The northern fence line, however, will be relocated to allow pedestrian access across the public sidewalk area adjacent to Evergreen Boulevard and in front of Officer's Row. Individuals using this sidewalk area will not be required to enter through security checkpoints." [ http://www.ci.vancouver.wa.us/release/4thOfJuly_lawsuit.shtm ]

So does this mean that people can enter the monument or craft fair or wherever without going through security? I'm not familiar with the geography there, so am not sure what this means...

more background on July 4th security 04.Jul.2002 11:35


Here's an excerpt from a June 19 press release from the City of Vancouver called "Road closures, safety plan in place for the 4th of July":
Safety Plan:

As a part of the safety plan, a temporary, collapsible fence will be installed around the 4th of July site. Four gates will be staffed with CMS security personnel and a VPD officer to check backpacks and carry-in bags for alcohol, fireworks, and/or weapons. Express lines will be available for visitors without containers. A VPD command staff person will be assigned to oversee this function to ensure that people get in and out as quickly as possible.

If a quick exit becomes necessary in the event of an emergency, sections of the collapsible fence can easily be removed (see map). Emergency exits will be staffed at all times throughout the event.

VPD will be implementing the new safety plan, including the security fence. "For the past several years, cities around the country are using this type of safety planning for their high-volume attendance events," said Acting Chief Brian Martinek. "It is our intent to make security functions as non-intrusive as possible while providing for the safety and security of families and people coming to enjoy this great event. By controlling what comes in to the venue area, we are better able to do that."

Food and beverages will be sold on site. As always, no pets or tents are allowed.

[ http://www.ci.vancouver.wa.us/release/4thOfJuly_lawsuit.shtm ]

checkpoints definitely unavoidable 04.Jul.2002 11:49


The Oregonian has an article about this situation, too, and it says that people still have to go through security checkpoints. The City of Vancouver press release above about the lawsuit being resolved is misleading. What the City did was end up moving a fence so that it would not enclose places where people live and work. Under the original plan, these residents would've had to go through checkpoints to get to their homes or businesses.