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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Community responds to attacks

The state Capitol and state office buildings across Wisconsin closed their doors to visitors and the state National Guard went on heightened alert in reaction to Tuesday's terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. 




In addition, the Dane County Sheriff's Department stepped up its presence at the Dane County Regional Airport. Five planes carrying approximately 250 passengers were forced to land there in compliance with the Federal Aviation Administration ban on air traffic, according to Capt. Michael Plumer of the Sheriff's Department.  




Passengers on the diverted planes who needed it were provided with shelter, said Rod McLean, deputy director of Dane County Regional Airport. 




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Wisconsin Gov. Scott McCallum activated the state Emergency Operations Center, which coordinates the actions of the State National Guard and local emergency response teams. City and county officials also opened the local emergency operations center to coordinate agencies within the county. 




In addition, the Wisconsin Army and Air National Guards were placed on 'threat con delta,' their highest level of security alert, according to Larry Sommers, communications specialist with the state Department of Military Affairs. 




Despite these precautions, County Executive Kathleen Falk said she did not believe that there is any reason for Dane County residents to feel unsafe. 




'We have no reason to believe that Dane County citizens are at any risk today,' Falk said at a mid-morning press conference held to announce the county and city's plans for dealing with any crisis here.  




The Madison and University police departments said they would not put more personnel on duty in response to the terrorist attacks. 




'We're not increasing any of our forces, but obviously we've increased our alert on the streets,' Officer Larry Kamholz said.  




Officials said they were not concerned about people overreacting to the crisis atmosphere created by the attacks.  




'I think it would be premature to speculate on any reaction,' Falk said.

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