Tulsa Police-Homeland Security

Monday, September 11th 2006, 9:54 am
By: News On 6

Since the 9-11 attacks, the federal government has given millions of dollars to local and state agencies to help them be better prepared for another attack. The Tulsa Police Department has gotten its fair share of that money.

What have they bought and why do we need it? News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright explains.

Some of the changes are easy to see, like barricades around police headquarters in downtown Tulsa. The idea is to keep someone from driving a truck bomb into the department’s underground parking area, since the 911 center is in the building above.

There is also a new fence and a gate requiring an access code at the Uniform Division East. Police say the reason, the police station houses a lot of the city's fuel supply and they want to make sure in the event of an emergency, there's still fuel for police cars, ambulances and fire trucks.

The Homeland Security money has also purchased several vehicles, including a $200,000 mobile command center outfitted with the latest technology. It's self-sufficient and could run for four days without needing a re-fuel.

Tulsa Police Major Dennis Larsen: “if anything drives home having the right equipment, the citizens of Oklahoma would realize the work done at in the Oklahoma City bombing. Sometimes it's not international terrorism. Sometimes, it's homegrown."

Federal money also purchased a state of the art bomb truck and a hi-tech bomb robot. Plus a containment vessel that would allow officers to contain and safely blow up a chemical or biological weapon.

They say this isn't overkill, this is realistic. Major Larsen: "They've all assumed it will happen, it's just a matter of when. Everybody on the bomb side is amazed it hasn’t happened already."

Tulsa Police say even more valuable than all the equipment is all the training agencies now do together. They work on all kinds of scenarios, from F5 tornadoes, to suicide bombers, all so they'll better be able to handle whatever comes along.