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    LB Officials Respond Following London Transit Terror Attack: Mayor O'Neill, Councilwoman/MTA Boardmember B. Lowenthal, LBPD Chief Batts, LBFD Chief Ellis Hold News Conf., Announce Add'l Security Measures As Precaution...And Urge Residents To Feel Secure But Call 911 If Anything Seems Amiss

    London-LB News Conf. July 7/05(July 7, 2005) -- In the wake of this morning's (July 7) terror attack on the London transit system, a news conference was held this afternoon by LB Mayor Beverly O'Neill, LB Councilwoman Bonnie Lowenthal (who's one of the 13 governing boardmembers of the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)), LB Police Chief Anthony Batts and LB Fire Chief Dave Ellis.

    The 1 p.m. news conference at LB's Emergency Communications & Operations Center was also attended by LB Transit and Port of LB officials who were available to field questions. LB and Los Angeles media outlets were present. posts extended portions with salient Q & A below.

    London-LB News Conf. July 7/05Mayor O'Neill:...I was briefed this morning by Fire and Police. I can feel great confidence in what they are doing...We have been well protected by not just their surveillance but by their visibility and we're taking every step to ensure that our citizens feel comfortable in the fact that the public safety of Long Beach is being maintained.

    ...My office has been in direct contact with Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff...The U.S. has no specific credible information suggesting an imminent attack. However they have assured us that if the situation were to change, we would be contacted directly and immediately...

    London-LB News Conf. July 7/05

    Councilwoman/MTA Boardmember Bonnie Lowenthal: ...[T]he Department of Homeland Security has issued an Orange alert for transit systems nationwide [and] the MTA and Long Beach Transit have responded accordingly.

    The MTA has activated its emergency operations center. This allows for the MTA system to remain in communication outside normal channels. It is an independent, stand-alone system. Every train is manned by two Deputies systemwide. County Sheriff redeployed 50% of their Deputies from each station to cover the mass transit system. That's a redeployment of 150 Deputies.

    The MTA also deployed six canine units...The Sheriffs Dept. is patrolling Metro bus routes to ensure passenger safety. The Metro Transit employees are exercising their terrorism alert training to recognize signs of potential problems. They've been put on notice, through memos and communications, to be alert...

    ...My heart goes out to all those people in London who were hurt, either physically or emotionally by this tragedy...

    London-LB News Conf. July 7/05LBPD Chief Batts: ...[LBPD] had started to put processes in place about 4 o' clock in the morning. We opened up our department operations centers...We've established liaisons with the FBI, with the federal government, other agencies, Coast Guard, LAPD, Sheriffs, Long Beach Port security, Long Beach Airport, the MTA, Long Beach Transit and the universities and colleges in our community.

    We've doubled our uniformed personnel on our streets, they're deployed. We're on all the [train] platforms throughout the city of Long Beach. We've deployed several bomb dogs throughout the city of Long Beach at different locations. Our SWAT Team has been activated. It is at our Airport and other critical facilities. All of our critical facilities have been checked. They are secure and we are watching those.

    We have officers on our buses...on our train platforms, and we have officers from our counter-terrorism office currently meeting with the FBI and with LAPD.

    Additionally, security has been implemented on all of our transportation locations. We have ongoing measures and they continue since the Madrid incident...

    [O]ur officers have been doubled on the water in our Port, on our waterways. We have doubled the number officers that we have at the Airport, public transportation our [MTA] Blue Line, and as I stated on our colleges and universities.

    I say to the citizens at this point: what I need from you is to be vigilant, to pay attention, to call 911 at any given point in time if you see anything unusual. Don't think about it: if there's something that you see that is out of the norm, please give us a call and don't hesitate to do that. I'm very proud of how this city has responded. I'd like to say to the citizens: feel safe, feel secure. There are no visible, credible threats to this area at this time. We're doing these as a precaution to make sure that our citizens and our residents are safe...

    London-LB News Conf. July 7/05

    LB Fire Chief Dave Ellis:...As the true first responders in the fire service, the Long Beach Fire Dept. and the fire service will continue to take the lead in preparing for emergencies that we see that are brought on by terrorist attacks in the world today. We could not do that without the coordination that we have the cooperation we have with both State Homeland Security and also the Dept. of Homeland Security.

    The incidents that took place today are an exact reason why we need the [inaudible] funding in the Long Beach region. When you look at the dollars that have allowed us to prepare for emergencies like this, we would not be capable of responding if we didn't have these funds from the federal level and it's important that that continues.

    We're secure in our staffing here in the city and to the citizens of Long Beach. We have the staffing available, and available to respond to any emergency whether it be a terrorist attack or any other incident directed towards Long Beach...

    CA is a leader in the mutual aid system and in the region here, we have 88 cities that we call upon at a moment's notice if we have an incident here in Long Beach. So we look to those partners and we feel secure that the citizens of Long Beach are well protected.

    London-LB News Conf. July 7/05Q: [Al Naipo, KTTV/Fox 11]: You've indicated that at least in four or five areas that you've doubled up officers. I'm just curious how you're able to do that?...:

    LBPD Chief Batts: ...We're on modified tactical alert like most of the other police agencies in this area...With those numbers, we've deployed and we've practiced this a number of times. This is nothing that's new for us, it's more like a drill. We will maintain that level until we have any more information that says that we should downgrade.

    Although [neither] the Coast Guard nor the TSA has raised their issues to a level Orange, that doesn't stop the local police departments to take those steps. So we automatically put officers on the water. We also put them out at container terminals that we see are problematic. We put them out at the Airport, spot teams are out there also stopping cars, checking cars, that's things we do automatically and we'll continue to do that.

    As we go on the next several days and evaluate this threat...we'll downgrade based on information from the national level.

    The news conference was also taped by LBTV Channel 8 and as of 4:00 p.m. this afternoon (July 7) was being cablecast hourly.

    City Hall also issued the following advisory (which posted on our front page):

    [begin text]

    Since early [July 7], the City of Long Beach has been carefully monitoring the transit bombings in London. While there is no known threat in Long Beach, the City's Public Safety officials are working closely with Long Beach Transit, MTA, County, State and Federal officials. Extra patrols have been assigned throughout the City.

    Residents are encouraged to continue their daily activities and to stay tuned to tv or radio news stations for updates. If there is any significant change in Long Beach, information will be distributed in the following ways: Sent to all tv, radio and print media. Announced on FM radio station KKJZ, 88.1. The same information will be sent to all media.

  • Posted on [City Hall's website]
  • Posted on
  • Aired on LBTV, Charter Communications Channel 8.
  • Sent to everyone who has signed up to receive the City's E-notify.
    To sign up for e-notify, visit Click on the New Subscriber link to choose which information to receive. All e-notify subscribers will receive local emergency notification.

    [end text]

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