Presidential preparations - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Presidential preparations

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NewsChannel 10

Canyon, Texas - It's not often that one U.S. President pays a visit to the panhandle, let alone two of them in one week.

Former President Bill Clinton and former President George W. Bush will visit the Amarillo area just days apart.

Up first is Clinton, who arrives Tuesday evening to speak at the First United Bank Center as a part of West Texas A & M's "distinguished lecture series."

It will be business as usual on the university's campus, but behind the scenes, that's a different story.

After all, it's not every day a former president comes to town.

Dr. Jim Calvi says, "It's the biggest deal in my 30 years at WTAMU, I'll say that."

Which makes security the top priority.

Canyon Police Chief Dale Davis says, "There is no other political face out there as important as a commander in chief or an ex-commander in chief."

Which is why the Secret Service and all law enforcement agencies in Canyon and Randall County are teaming up to make sure former President Clinton gets here safely and leaves here safely, and those who attend his lecture stay safe, as well.

Davis says, "Is this a big deal for the City of Canyon and the law enforcement in this area? You bet. We all have an objective and I can tell you we are going to successfully meet that objective tomorrow."

Preparations for his visit have long been in the works. It's not just about crowd control, seating and sound systems, but about providing the university's students with a valuable educational experience.

Calvi explains, "I think what his message will be is one we like to emphasize here at WTAMU, and that's service. With education comes some responsibility to the community, to the nation, and to the world. We hope he will be making that message loud and clear to our student body."

The university donated a large amount of money to Clinton's Flight 93 memorial project, in exchange for him to speak about his global initiative and foundation.

Former President George W. Bush will arrive Thursday, to host and ride in a weekend-long bike ride in Palo Duro Canyon for soldiers seriously wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.