‘Test of Our Times': Tom Ridge on Terror Alert Level – TIME

Ridge says he worries about a certain “complacency” about preparing the nation and preventing another attack that has set in on Capitol Hill and among the wider American public. “For several years, the public debate and discussion was about funding priorities and technology,” says Ridge, “and I don’t hear much of that. It just concerns me because there is still a lot of need.”

In particular, he wonders why, eight years after 9/11, there is still no first-responder communications system so that police and fire departments across the country can communicate in the event of an attack. And he worries about the continued lack of tracking ability for foreign nationals who overstay their visas. “We don’t know today if everybody who came in lawfully with a visa in the last five years has gone home,” he says. “What happened to that sense of urgency?”