Public Safety and Security Changes Since 9-11

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COLUMBIA - Over the past decade since September 11, 2001 our country has come a long way in terms of public safety and security.

Some major changes have taken place right here in Mid-Missouri. Since the attack, the Columbia Fire Department has formed a bomb squad equipped with tools to monitor the environment and deal with any situation involving weapons of mass destruction, and it has upped training and equipment for its HAZMAT team with aid from Homeland Security.

In addition to the new trucks and tools the Columbia bomb squad and HAZMAT teams have acquired since September 11th, they have also upped security at big events such as football games. Now, before every home football game the bomb squad goes through and sweeps the entire stadium with the aid of an explosvies canine.

The fire department isn't the only place to see changes since 9-11, the way we travel was also changed after that Tuesday no American will ever forget.

Immediately following the attacks, fear caused air travel at the Columbia Regional Airport to drop drastically for months until passengers gained faith in new security measures put in place. Prior to September 11, 2001 airline personnel were in charge of the pre-boarding screening at the airport, but as soon as the attacks happened and airports reopened, the National Guard took over. Soon after that, the Transportation Security Administration formed to run airport security nationwide.

Some of the major changes in security are that passengers now must arrive at the airport an hour before their flight; remove their shoes, belts and jackets; take out their computers and other electronoic devices and limit liquids to pass through security.

Despite the extra work passenger Lauren Walker said, "I am happy that they're bumping up security. I know that you do have to get there earlier, but to me it's worth it and it's a lot safer, so I'd rather put in the effort to go in early."

The airport has plans to renovate the terminal in the future to allow more space for TSA operations.