In their own words: Top homeland security officials answer ‘Are we safer’?

Members of the Wisconsin Homeland Security Council provided responses to the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism’s questions about the state’s strengths and weaknesses in emergency preparedness since the 9/11 attacks.

At Lambeau Field and beyond, how a police force stepped up security after 9/11

Ever notice that semitrailer parked on Lombardi Avenue during Green Bay Packers home games? It’s there to prevent possible vehicles armed with explosives from getting anywhere close to Lambeau Field, said Green Bay police Lt. Jim Runge. That security tactic, often unnoticed by many, goes a long way toward ensuring fans’ safety, he said. Since 9/11, law enforcement agencies and emergency responders nationwide have received federal funding for new equipment and logged hours of special training to be prepared for a large-scale crisis.

Marinette school standoff communication was ‘large problem’

Emergency responders at a Marinette High School hostage standoff last year struggled with malfunctioning cellphones and other communication problems, according to a newly released report on the deadly incident.

Evacuation plans in place but officials don’t expect all people, animals to leave

Town chairman Lee Engelbrecht says his hogs, sheep, heifers and feeder steers likely would stay put on the family farm if a disaster ever struck Point Beach Nuclear Plant, about a mile away, or Kewaunee Power Station, five miles north on Wisconsin 42. Engelbrecht, 57, didn’t think that was a very realistic possibility before 9/11 … or now. “Nobody living in Two Creeks has any fear about living near Point Beach,” says the lifelong resident on Two Creeks Road.

Nuclear security teams prepare for mock attacks

TOWN OF TWO CREEKS — Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials say there has never been a security breach into an American power plant. It’s certainly not a matter of luck, say staff members at the NRC and Wisconsin’s two nuclear power plants — Kewaunee Power Station and Point Beach Nuclear Power Plant in the town on the northern edge of Manitowoc County. Sara Cassidy, manager of nuclear communications for NextEra Point Beach, says the industry has spent $1.2 billion and many thousands of hours of training in the decade since 9/11 on security enhancements in response to NRC mandates.

TSA touts safer airports, but security breaches continue

ASHWAUBENON – At one point shortly after 9/11, security screeners at airports, including one in Northeastern Wisconsin, were confiscating so many potential weapons from departing passengers that they decided the contraband should be made into a display to serve as a warning.