Are We Safer Than We Were on Sept. 11?

By: Lindsay Puccio
By: Lindsay Puccio

Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo answered that question at his talk at UVA's Miller Center on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2005.

“Are we truly any smarter than we were on the eve of what I will remember as the one event in my lifetime? That reminded me of what government is supposed to be all about, to protect its people," said Timothy Longo, Chief of Charlottesville Police.

Although Chief Longo said he has no answer for that question he does believe security has progressed.

"National security has improved greatly since September 11th. The staff of the FBI and has worked hard to improve the flow of communication to states and localities. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. Is it far better than it was on Sept. 10, 2001, it absolutely is," said Longo.

"Any enemy is going to change their tactics and we need to change right along with them," said John Aguilar.

But does changing their tactics mean striking a small city like Charlottesville? "It may be that we wont be a staging area or a site of terrorist attacks at all, it may be that we're an area where people come to after those attacks take place, an evacuation area," said Longo.

People still do feel they may be in danger of another terrorist attack.

"I really don't feel safer than I did on 9/11. I think we all are waiting for the next shoe to drop, so to speak," said Maxine Burton.

"I think we're all still at risk, I think it would be naive to say that we're not," added Cynthia Alling.

Through several grants this year, the Charlottesville Police Department said they are ready and equipped to handle an emergency situation.

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