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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Area police paying attention to terror level warnings

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

When most people think of places in the U.S. under threat of terrorist attack, cities like New York and Washington, D.C. come to mind. Smaller towns, like Brazil, are generally considered to be safe from these threats because of their size and lack of sites terrorists may be interested in attacking.

Actions taken by terrorists in areas close to Brazil, however, can affect Clay County.

New Brazil Police Chief Mark Loudermilk said that while city police don't completely switch gears when the terror alert rises, there definitely could be repercussions for Brazil if a surrounding town was attacked.

"We're not directly affected by the terrorist alerts," he said. "We don't get specific orders from the government as to what to do when the level rises. We get the information much the same way the media does, inform our officers, and go from there."

Loudermilk said that the police department didn't have to take any out-of-the-ordinary action when the terror alert rose last week, though officers were more alert to possible trouble.

Loudermilk said law enforcement will see what needs to be done in the Central Indiana area in 2004.

"We need to call Crane and neighboring areas and see if we need to watch out for certain things, or if we need to be trained for more specific stuff," Loudermilk said. "An attack anywhere around here could definitely affect us, even if it's just an influx of people from the attacked town coming into Brazil."

Sheriff's Deputy Larry Pierce said much the same thing, noting that a high terror alert isn't necessarily a call to arms for the Clay County Sheriff's Department.

"We're not affected any more than normal by a high terror alert," Pierce said. "Since 9-11 many places have stepped things up, and we are certainly one of them. This is on the whole, not a day in, day out thing for us. I mean, locally, what are they going to do? Blow up the McDonald's?"

Clay County Emergency Management Director Gerri Husband said that Clay County's size is no reason to ignore terror warnings.

"Every agency has its own game plan," she said. "Our proximity to Crane, Newport, ISU, DePauw, all of those would maybe make us at more risk."

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