Cities Beefing Up Security after Terror Threats

by Ramonica Jones

With the threat of possible terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and New Jersey, other cities across the country are also beefing up security.

Authorities announced Saturday that the threat level in New York remains at orange, which is the second highest of five steps on the country's terror alert program. Security leaders say Al-qaeda is targeting the New York Stock Exchange, the Citi-Group building in New York, Prudential Financial in northern New Jersey and the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington. Those areas are all on high alert status and are taking precautions against possible car or truck bombs.

Several other cities like Chicago, Boston, and Los Angeles and stepping up security.

But it is not just the big cities who are taking precautions. City officials in Lufkin say they are prepared for the worst.

With several cities in the nation possibly under attack by terrorists, East Texas authorities are on high alert. There has been no change in security in our area, but there has been a change in law enforcement's approach to terrorism.

Lufkin Police Chief Larry Brazil said, "I think in the past, we just looked for anything out of the ordinary and that's not good enough anymore. The state of our society today and the state of our nation; we need to be sure when we go in those businesses, or schools, or hospitals and places like that, we're not overlooking anything."

Chief Brazil says although there have been no reports of East Texas being in any immediate danger of an attack, we should still be concerned.

Brazil said, "I think in small cities like Lufkin, it would be remote, but we still can't take any chances. We still have to be prepared as much as we can."

Authorities say they're confident, East Texans are safe. Chief Brazil says local authorities have a good relationship with the FBI and have plenty of help tracking terrorists.

The addition of a bomb detecting dog to the police force is just another step to track anything that poses a threat to East Texans.

City leaders, sheriff's deputies, police officers, and other law enforcement agents go through extreme training once a year. They participate in real-life situations like terrorist attacks and other disasters.