PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Authorities in Philadelphia are gearing up ahead of the tenth anniversary of September 11.
Philadelphia Police were already in motion before U.S. officials received word of a new specific, credible terror threat. On the streets of Center City, Homeland Security units were clearly visible and there were additional patrol crews on Independence Mall. SWAT teams roamed neighborhoods while federal police stayed posted outside government buildings.
The tighter security on the tenth anniversary of 9/11 has been planned for months, but with word of a credible, but unconfirmed terror threat, FBI officials are urging everyone to be alert.
“Right now, there is no credible, specific threat to any landmarks in Philadelphia,” said George Venizelos, FBI Special Agent in Charge.
Venizelos cautions, however, that people must not let their guard down.
“There is nothing to panic about or be concerned about, but certainly, we want people, if they see something, to say something,” said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.
The Commissioner hopes the sight of more police will be comforting rather than concerning.
“We have a lot of people working this weekend. We will definitely be vigilant,” said Commissioner Ramsey.
“These sorts of things, we have lived now, going on ten years. It is not a surprise at what happened on this anniversary because the tenth gets more attention than the others,” said Professor Ed Turzanski, a senior fellow at the foreign policy research institute.
Turzanski says in addition to protection, perspective is also important in dealing with threats.
“The good news is that we’re in a much more mature place with better means of preparation and response then we were on 9/11,” said Turzanski.
SEPTA has advised riders they will be seeing more uniform officers on the system. Those officers will be working extra hours, banned from requesting additional vacation days until the security net surrounding the tenth anniversary is lifted.
Reported by Walt Hunter, CBS 3