The Department of Homeland Security this week raised the national
threat level in response to terrorist threats against Western
targets, but until specific information about local targets is known,
Burbank Police and Fire officials are not making any significant
California Highway Patrol officers, however, are adding four more
hours to their workdays after Gov. Gray Davis put the state agency on
12-hour shifts in response to the heightened terror alert.
The color-coded terror alert was raised Tuesday from yellow to
orange, which indicated a high risk of terror attacks and is the
second-highest of five levels. Information released by the Homeland
Security officials said only that intelligence suggested Al Qaeda
entered an operational period that may include attacks against the
When the threat level was last raised to orange prior to the start
of the Iraq conflict, Burbank Police raised deployments and officers
were not allowed to schedule time off. Those steps have not been
taken this time, but spokesman Sgt. Bruce Speirs said police are
confident staffing levels are high enough to respond to an attack.
“If a threat becomes more identified and it looks like something
we need to be responsive to, we’ll take the necessary steps,” he
Officers are being reminded of the heightened alert, and asked to
pay particular attention to locations that could be targets, but
Speirs said no other changes in procedure have been made at this
Mike Post, security chief at the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena
Airport, said that while some changes have been made in terms of
where officers focus their activities, deployments have not
increased. Airport personnel will continue to inspect vehicles, which
some airports only do when the terror level rises, he said.
Rick Mehling, interim disaster preparedness coordinator, said no
significant changes were made by the Burbank Fire Department in
reaction to the latest change in the alert level.
“The alerts go up and down and we make changes here and there, but
really nothing’s changed,” he said.