Wednesday, October 31, 2001

City may bolster plans for security

By Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken and Councilwoman Alicia Reece said Tuesday they will propose that council bolster the city's involvement in a new Security and Preparedness Task Force.

        They and officials of the city's police, fire, water and sewer and health departments presented changes they plan to make to help Cincinnati prepare for a possible terrorist attack.

        Mr. Luken and Ms. Reece said they plan to coordinate and develop a hot line with the Health Department to answer citizens' questions. They also plan a Web page with answers to frequently asked questions.

        And they plan to designate a liaison to make the city's task force available to companies and organizations also beefing up their security efforts.

        Officials from police and fire divisions, health officials and water and sewer departments also briefed the health committee:

        Among the highlights:

        • Police and fire officials will refine how they handle and investigate reports of potentially threatening substances. Lt. Col. Richard Janke, an assistant police chief, said officers now can respond within four minutes

        • The fire division is applying to become part of the FBI's federal task force on terrorism, which already includes the police division.

        The Security and Preparedness Task Force was created in early October by City Manager John Shirey to recommend and implement plans to prepare for any incident involving weapons of mass destruction.


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