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A year-old security blanket

September 11, 2002

Ryan Carter

With high-profile television and film studios on one side of the

city and a busy commuter airport on the other, security in the wake

of Sept. 11, 2001 has changed here.

"The city took action to bring together many critical areas we

thought would be most vulnerable," Assistant City Manager Mary Alvord

said about the ongoing local response after the attacks in New York,

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Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Those areas include the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport and the

studios.

Immediately after the East Coast attacks, Burbank Police sent

officers to help Airport Police guard the terminals. City police

continue to work with airport officers.

From Sept. 11 to July 31, the airport paid the city $1.04 million

for the Burbank Police staffing.

"We have always been there to augment Airport Police, and always

been ready and willing to assist, but since Sept. 11 we've found

ourselves stationed at the airport," Police Sgt. Bill Taylor said.

Studio security has also transformed. Participants in NBC studio

tours are now photographed and analyzed by a metal detector. Disney

and Warner Bros. studios have visibly bolstered security at their

entrances.

Before Sept. 11, "our structure was open," said Jim Murphy,

director of security at NBC. "You could walk in from anywhere at any

time in any direction. Now, that's closed."

One big change since the attacks was in employees' willingness to

put up with reinforced security, Murphy said.

"It went from 70% support internally to 100%," Murphy said.

With required IDs, disaster preparedness programs, alarms around

local reservoirs and vulnerability studies, the security of

city-owned structures, personnel and the public has also been

fortified, officials said.

Plus, a new entity has been created to strengthen security issues.

The City Security Council, a group of public safety officials,

continue to regularly meet in private sessions to discuss concerns.

They also evaluate procedures such as the Fire Department's training

of city field crews in handling potential bio-chemical germs. They

are also working to improve HazMat response protocols.

But like Murphy at NBC, police said security and public safety has

been proportional to increased public support.

"We've restricted access a little a more tightly than in the

past," Police Capt. Gordon Bowers said. "But there's been a big

difference in how we're treated by the public in nonenforcement

situations. There's been lots of expressions of appreciation. That

was extremely rare before Sept. 11 and it's not so rare anymore."

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