Public denied access

Closing the doors on the second floor of the Hunt County Courthouse to public access was one of the security measures put into place following the 9/11 attacks.

These days, most residents may not even notice all of the additional security measures which were implemented locally following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as government and law enforcement agencies stepped up efforts to improve public safety.

One lasting change was called for almost immediately, while other actions were taken behind the scenes and involved improving communication between area authorities.

Immediately following the events in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania, people visiting the Hunt County Courthouse were required to pass through metal detectors and be screened by security officers.

The increased measures were kept in place for weeks afterward and were resumed on occasion, when the national terrorist threat level was elevated. During the interim, a large scale plan was formed to heighten overall security at the building, which included closing the east and west side doors at the courthouse to all but authorized county personnel. Eventually public access was limited only to the first floor Lee Street entrance. A metal detector was at the door and a video system installed to monitor traffic inside the courthouse.

Those measures are still in effect 11 years later, and the security officers at the front entrance are now also called upon to take mandatory temperature checks and ask if anyone entering the building has experienced COVID-19 symptoms.

The county’s volunteer fire departments were upgraded as a result of the disasters, as grants from the Department of Homeland Security helped provide for the creation of a hazardous materials response team.

Many of the departments also benefited from Homeland Security grant funding which paid for additional equipment and training.

Businesses using Majors Field Municipal Airport are occasionally reminded to remain on guard, especially each year around 9/11.

Majors Field along was among the airports across the United States shut down for a time following the attacks, although there never was an incident reported at the local facility.

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