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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of September 11 - 17, 2002

reflections on September 11th

Valley police forced to make adjustments

Express Staff Writer

On the eve of the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the East Coast, police chiefs for the cities of Sun Valley and Hailey said they have successfully implemented several adjustments to provide additional security for residents and visitors.

Police officers for both cities in the last year have been called upon to follow new protocols, be more alert on the job and provide heightened security for events and conventions.

"We’re all more aware, and we approach situations a little differently than before," Sun Valley Police Chief Cameron Daggett said Monday.

Daggett said Sun Valley police officers—like all men and women in law enforcement—were prompted last September to evaluate how they went about their jobs.

"Immediately after 9/11 we decided to sit down and review how we respond to incidents," he said.

Daggett noted that he determined that no major changes were needed at the department, but said some minor adjustments were required. He said he implemented new policies for responding to incidents of reported bio-hazards, particularly anthrax, and had to arrange for an increased number of his staff to provide hired security for special events and conventions in the city.

"Everyone is sharing a little more concern for security than they used to," he said.

While no new personnel were hired or changes made to the department’s day-to-day procedures, life did change for many of the officers, he said. Police staff has had to "field a lot of questions and answer to people’s concerns," he said.

However, Daggett said officers’ increased interaction with the public has been a positive experience overall. "We’re getting more support and expressions of gratitude than ever before."

Hailey Police Chief Brian McNary said the biggest change that occurred in his department after Sept. 11 was the hiring of four new officers to provide security at Friedman Memorial Airport as part of an agreement between the city, airport and federal government.

McNary said that as a result of the increased presence of law enforcement at the airport, city police are now called to the site more often, particularly to resolve disputes between taxi drivers waiting for clients.

The police chief explained that as a response to the threat of terrorism he initiated extra training for officers in managing disasters and large-scale emergencies.

He said responding to several reports of suspected anthrax—of which there were an estimated 90 statewide last fall—did disrupt officers’ regular routine. None of the suspicious substances in Hailey turned out to be anthrax, he added.

McNary said he believes it would have been difficult for any police department or emergency-response agency to prepare for the events of Sept. 11. "I don’t think anyone ever would have planned for planes flying into buildings," he said.



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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.