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Amarillo law enforcement agencies reflect on 9/11

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 7:12 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Many Americans felt their safety was at risk after the fall of the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001.

Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas was at a local radio station when he heard the news.

He said he felt what many others experienced while watching the television screen.

“Your whole day just got shot,” said Sheriff Thomas. “It was just [like] God what in the world is going on.”

Perry Gilmore, director of the Texas Panhandle War Memorial Center and former APD officer, wondered how the first responders would manage.

“How do you manage an incident like that? How do you get all of the resources? It would just seem overwhelming,” said Gilmore.

Randall County Sheriff Chris Forbis said the change in crime prevention was immediate following the attack.

What was once crime that happened locally, now became global.

“After 9/11, that changed. The paradigm shifted and we were looking at a more global type threat,” said Forbis. “We have a lot of infrastructure here.”

Forbis said that agri-terrorism was a big concern in our area, as well as the protection of Pantex, a nuclear production facility.

Gilmore said APD immediately made changes to be prepared in emergency situations.

“Chemical [or] biological attacks...we got equipment to detect that, we got radiation detection equipment for example” said Gilmore.

To honor the first responders of 9/11, local law enforcement agencies will participate in an event tomorrow morning starting at 8:45 a.m at the Texas Panhandle War Memorial Center.

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