Security Tightens in Utah

Security Tightens in Utah


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John Daley reporting State and local officials met today to discuss homeland security here in Utah, though they say they're not aware of any threats here.

Last night, the governor joined in on a conference call with the White House, along with leaders of all the states.

There are no reports of any trouble here in Utah today, though police agencies around the state are on high alert, and leaders of various agencies just wrapped up a meeting on homeland security this afternoon.

The most obvious sign of the heightened security was beefed up checks being done today at the Huntsman Center. Of course, the NCAA basketball tournament got underway today and thousands of fans had to go through the tighter than usual security checks to get into the arena.

Many fans said they enjoyed the normalcy of the games in the midst of these tense times.

Julie Masterson/Parker, CO Resident: "WE'RE HERE AND WE'RE NOT GOING TO LET SOME BAD GUY OVERSEAS STOP OUR LIFE HERE IN AMERICA."

Meantime, local and state officials say they believe Utah is safe. Utah FBI agents are knocking on doors, passing out business cards and reassuring Arab Americans that they will be protected from any retaliation or hate crimes.

Gov. Mike Leavitt: "STATE, LOCAL AND FEDERAL PUBLIC SAFETY PERSONNEL ARE TAKING A VARIETY OF CAUTIONARY MEASURES. THE UTAH NATIONAL GUARD REMAINS AT SUFFICIENT LEVELS TO BE MOBILIZED IF NECESSARY."

The governor says the state can handle any natural or other disaster, even though four-thousand of Utah's roughly six thousand Guard troops have been mobilized for the war. Utah is contributing more of its reserves than most states because they have useful skills ranging from language translation to water purification.

The governor today said that though we can all expect some inconvenience getting through security at the airport or sporting events, normal life can and should go forward.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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