Douglas implements state’s security plan

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(Host) Governor Jim Douglas has called for the state’s homeland security plan to be implemented, as federal officials warn of an increased threat of a terrorist attack.

Douglas says there’s no specific threat against Vermont, but state officials increasing security in four areas: the Canadian border; the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant; the Burlington and Rutland airports; and increased police presence in communities. After meeting with his homeland security team on Sunday, Douglas had this advice:

(Douglas) “We want Vermonters to be calm, but vigilant. If you see something that’s unusual or suspicious or untoward in any way, I hope you’ll contact your local law enforcement agencies. Because we’d rather hear from you and check it out and find that it’s nothing, than have something unfortunate occur. Secondly, I want Vermonters to continue to celebrate the holidays just as they did. We don’t the terrorists to win by paralyzing our society. So whatever your holiday plans are, please continue with them, but just be a little more cautious than you might have been before.”

(Host) On a practical level, Vermonters should expect see a stronger police presence in some locations; longer wait times at the Canadian border; and they should plan to check-in at the airport an hour-and-a-half before departure.

Public Safety Commissioner Kerry Sleeper says this is the fourth time the nation has been on Orange Alert. Governor Douglas says he hopes the public will take Sunday’s threat warning seriously:

(Douglas) “Secretary Ridge was very specific this afternoon that there were credible intelligence sources that led him to this decision. He indicated that this is a level of concern that is as serious as it’s been at any time since the attacks of more than two years ago against America and New York City and elsewhere. So we ought to take it seriously, I take it seriously. And that’s why I gathered the Homeland Security team here on a Sunday afternoon to make sure that our plan is implemented successfully.”

(Host) Douglas says the state’s homeland security team has been in close contact with federal and local officials, and has been in communication with Canadian officials as well.

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