Officials at Burbank Water and Power say they have been gradually
increasing security at their facilities over the past year and don’t
plan to make any dramatic changes in response to the nation’s
heightened terror alert.
The BWP completed a major review of its security last year, and
since then, it has hired more guards and installed more fences and
cameras, Director Ron Davis said. Upgrading security at its
facilities is an ongoing task, Davis said, and one that always leaves
room for improvement.
“It’s not a problem; we’re secure,” Davis said. “We’re just
looking at things a little more.”
The nation’s terror alert was raised recently in fear that
military action in Iraq could lead to terrorist strikes against the
U.S. The city has identified BWP facilities as a possible target in
the event of an attack, and Davis said police have increased patrols
of the facilities.
Many of the security upgrades have involved overlapping security
measures, he said. For instance, rather than just adding a fence to
an area, he said a fence and a motion-sensing alarm might be added.
Davis said he doesn’t like to see things like razor wire around
public buildings, but people understand some such measures are now
“We’re installing things that people might have found intrusive in
the past, like monitoring cameras,” he said.
BWP officials must secure both water and electrical facilities,
but Assistant General Manager Fred Fletcher said the water supply is
much more difficult to protect.
“Electricity is kind of self-policing,” he said. “If you play with
it too much, you die.”
While water might be more difficult to protect, Davis said
Burbank’s water supply is more secure than cities like Los Angeles’
because all of Burbank’s reservoirs are covered. Also, because
Burbank and Glendale have local power plants, as well as a
combination of ground water and imported water, utility officials are
less likely to be devastated in the event of a disaster, Davis said.
“We can have a major event like the Northridge earthquake and
Burbank and Glendale can still turn the lights back on,” he said.