Working at 9/11 Memorial: Through the Eyes of a Security Intern

Georgia Bender and Larry Mannion, vice president of security, fire and life safety, stand beside the south pool on the 9/11 Memorial.
Georgia Bender with Larry Mannion, Vice President of Security, Fire and Life Safety, at the 9/11 Memorial.

This summer I have been given more practical knowledge and firsthand experience of security and law enforcement matters than any college-level course could provide. As the security intern, I have had the pleasure to work directly for Larry Mannion, the vice president of security, fire and life safety, and the directors of security operations at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. As a criminal justice and security major at Pace University, this opportunity has been invaluable to me as I connect and apply my knowledge from the classroom to the Memorial’s daily security operations.

The exceptionally qualified and connected people who make up the security team have provided me with hands-on experience from the point of view of a large private security provider, as well as from the perspective of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. It is inspiring to see the collaboration of these agencies along with the more than 300 employees of the Memorial dedicated to protecting and serving the site, which hosts thousands of visitors per day.

The staff has taken an active interest in my learning by encouraging me to challenge myself to be a critical thinker, increase my knowledge and improve my analytical perspective. My daily tasks as an intern include attending security related meetings, creating metrics for tracking security concerns, record maintenance and reviewing data for archiving.

During my time here, I received CPR and AED certification by the American Heart Association. I’ve also had the opportunity to observe the in-depth planning processes for high profile VIP and dignitary visits, such as Pope Francis, who will be visiting in September. I was present during several security meetings with the NYPD, PAPD, FBI, Secret Service and the 9/11 security team. It has been a privilege to witness these agencies interacting for the purposes of protecting these grounds.

I am so grateful for the experience I’ve had during my internship this summer, mostly because it has expanded my view of the world. There is no place with greater professionalism and integrity than the 9/11 Memorial and I am so honored to have been able to be a part of it.

By Georgia Bender, 9/11 Memorial Security Intern

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