Tulsa Corps of Engineers Add Extra Security Measures Over the Holidays

Thursday, December 23rd 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The United States Army Corps of Engineers in Tulsa is heeding a warning about the corps being a possible target of terrorism this holiday. The corps is a vital asset for our nation's waterway transportation and hydroelectric power.

At the Corps of Engineers headquarters, workers are preparing for the unthinkable. The corps is putting its trust in 100 concrete blocks, on loan from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, to protect the 200 employees who work there from a possible terrorist attack during the holidays. “We have taken and measured about 100 feet out from the building,” said Corps spokesman Ross Adkins. “The experts tell us that's probably the best place to put them, so if a terrorist tried to ignite a bomb from that distance, it would do a minimum amount of damage."

It will take a few days for all the blocks to be put in place. Corps officials hope the public won't be upset with having to walk around the temporary barrier. "I think it's probably a good idea,” said Coweta resident John Busby. “You can't tell what those people are going to try."

Earl Groves, the Corps manager says the measures are frustrating, but necessary.
"It is frustrating,” said Groves. “We live in a free country. We appreciate all the benefits of living in a free country. But we have to go through these motions in order to protect our own people from what might potentially be some of our own citizens."

The corps already has surveillance cameras in place and its own federal protection service on patrol. These added measures will help the corps keep up with changing times. "We're living in a totally different world than we were five years ago,” Adkins explained. “When you stop and think about it, nobody five years ago would ever have imagined something like this."