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BWP security an ongoing task

Ben Godar

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.