Local News

State Mobilizes In Response To Nation's Terror Alert

Posted December 22, 2003 5:52 a.m. EST

— In response to the nation's high terror alert, places across the Triangle have stepped up security.

As part of the state's response to the orange threat level, the North Carolina National Guard identified members who could bring its three Emergency Operations Centers to full strength instantly. The state also has plans for its emergency center.

"We also put the state emergency response team members on one-hour recall, which means that we need to be able to get in touch with them by cell phone or pager or telephone," said Renee Hoffman, of the State Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.

State officers are now patrolling areas around our nuclear and power plants. Manned and unmanned cars are also posted at state government buildings.

Many state employees have already started their holiday vacation, but the state's heightened security will stay in place through the holidays.

"That will probably be evaluated over the holidays by the federal government and if they decide to lower it, then we obviously could step back on our procedures," Hoffman said.

Some people who live and work in downtown Raleigh feel the security measures are all too much.

"You've got hard entry passes now for all the state buildings and so forth and that gets a little cumbersome sometimes," state employee Harry Herrick said.

Others said even if North Carolina is not considered a high threat, people can never be too careful.

"I still think it's important that we keep up our vigilance even in these small places because you never know when we might be caught off-guard," said Mary Ellen Jordan, who is visiting North Carolina.

Fort Bragg leaders said they have not stepped up security because of the new threat. Pope Air Force Base would not comment on whether new measures were put in place.