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March 19, 2003



          Mayor Jeremy Harris announced today that the City and County of Honolulu has increased security and terrorism detection and response efforts throughout Oahu.  “While the threat level here is still low, Honolulu’s preparedness level has been heightened at our City facilities and public events,” the Mayor said after a mid-day security meeting with members of his cabinet.

           The City’s preparedness for the looming war is focused on five broad areas.  They are:

               1.     Increased protection of City infrastructure, with emphasis on protection against biological and chemical weapons.

               2.     Added protection of City facilities, although some measures may not be readily visible.

               3.     Activation today of the last unit in the City’s system of fixed monitoring sites.  These devices, at critical locations on Oahu, are used to detect releases of toxic agents.

               4.     Air sampling by trained City staff at major public events.  The sampling uses portable equipment to detect potential releases of chemical and biological agents.  The City’s new mobile DNA laboratory will respond immediately to possible releases. 

               5.     Around-the-clock operation of the Emergency Operations Center at Oahu Civil Defense.


          The Mayor concluded by saying, "I want to assure the citizens of Honolulu that everything that can be done to keep them safe is being done."



Wednesday, March 19, 2003

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