Friday, September 9, 2011

KCPD better prepared to combat terrorism than ever, but everyone still needs to be vigilant

This weekend, we will observe the 10th anniversary of the worst terror attack on American soil. Security is understandably heightened nationwide and here in Kansas City (like at KCI Airport). I want you to know that KCPD is better prepared to combat terrorism than ever before. Our Homeland Security Unit is closely tied to federal, state and local agencies that investigate terrorism and conduct many investigations on their own. Just in 2010, they conducted 158 international terrorism investigations and 65 domestic ones. The video at the bottom of this post explains some of the ways KCPD has changed in its approach to fighting terrorism in the last 10 years.

We also are part of the Kansas City Terrorism Early Warning Center, which links the region together and keeps law enforcement informed of any possible threats.

Police have remained very vigilant about anything that could signal a possible terrorist attack in Kansas City. Nine box trucks - like those used in the Oklahoma City federal building bombing - were stolen in Kansas City earlier this week, and our officers and detectives immediately went to work to track them down and see if there were any ties to terrorism activities. Within just a couple days, investigators had located all nine trucks and two suspects. The suspects were career auto thieves who had been out of jail for just a few weeks and had no ties to terrorism.

But police can't be everywhere. We need your help. If you see something, say something. Be alert for the seven signs of terrorism and report anything suspicious. You can report any this to the Kansas City Terrorism Early Warning Center, which has partnered with the TIPS Hotline, at 816-474-TIPS; KCPD’s Homeland Security Unit at 816-889-6130; your local law enforcement agency; or the Kansas City FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force at 816-512-8200. If you sense an impending emergency, call 911. You can even report suspicious activity online.

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