Tuesday, October 09, 2001

Cleveland puts police on alert

By Paul Singer
The Associated Press

        CLEVELAND — Police increased security and bus and truck drivers were watching for any suspicious activity as the United States attacked terrorist targets for the second day Monday.

        Civic events such as Columbus Day parades were held as scheduled.

        “We have to go on and have faith that we're being protected,” said Charlotte Gray, 22, who watched Cleveland's parade. “Staying away from events like this parade won't help. Coming together, being supportive will.”

        The Cleveland Police Department put its officers on higher alert Sunday after bombs began falling in Afghanistan, even before the FBI asked local officials to increase security, said spokeswoman Sharon MacKay.

        Mayor Michael White declined Monday to give specifics about the city's efforts, but said they will include additional security at places of worship, transportation and sports facilities.

        Frank Polivka, general manager of the Laketran public transit system in Cleveland's eastern suburbs, said he is asking drivers in the 100-bus system to keep their eyes out for suspicious activity.

        “We're a real small system,” Mr. Polivka said. “It's not like sarin gas is going to be released in our system.”

        However, the drivers circulate widely in the community and may notice suspicious activity, he said.

        On Sunday, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton — like the nation's other Air Force bases — increased security. That included more intensive checks of people entering base gates. In addition, security police armed with M-16 rifles roped off a popular aircraft viewing area just outside the base fence line.


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