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Tulsa's 911 center moving to more secure surroundings

Tulsa's 911 center is preparing to pack up and move to a safer, more secure location.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says the fear of terrorism prompted the city to stack concrete barriers near city hall, to be deployed if the threat increases.

But the hub of all emergency traffic - the 911 dispatch center - is considered so vulnerable, the city plans to move it out of downtown to a secure location. Dale Hunter, Public Safety Manager: "After September 11th the city did a security audit and determined there were some problems with this building and it would be easier to start over with a whole new building than try to harden this building and deal with the issues related to security."

The center opened in 1991, and was state of the art at the time - a bright improvement over the basement where it was before. But now - those windows are a liability and the middle of downtown location considered too convenient for a bomber.

Not only does the buildings location and those big windows make it an easy target for terrorists, it also has air quality and structural problems. In fact, engineers are concerned the roof wouldn't stand up to a strong storm. “I don't know we could have foreseen it, but we've certainly learned some lessons from the way it was constructed, I guess that's the best way to answer that.”

The new building will go up - or possibly under - a bare patch of land in north Tulsa. It's far from other buildings, there's plenty of room for parking and public access could be easily blocked - the opposite of the current building, which just ten years ago was everything the city thought it needed.
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