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Help keep our hometown secure

Posted April 20, 2018

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Americans traveling to European countries are often taken aback by the large military and law enforcement presence patrolling tourist areas, airports and public events. This open display of heavily-armed patrols is used to help detour potential acts of terrorism, and is seen in foreign lands where terrorist acts are more common.

America has not escalated to this level of homeland security, but the fight against terrorism is happening 24 hours a day. We can feel safe, thanks in large part to efforts by Fort Worth Police and Fire departments. First responders are working daily to help protect Fort Worth residents and visitors by gathering critical information and training for many types of terrorist acts.

The Joint Hazard Intervention Team (JHIT) is made up Fort Worth Fire Department bomb technicians, explosive detection K9 teams, hazardous-materials technicians and Fort Worth Police Department Homeland Security Unit officers. The JHIT may also be augmented by state and federal personnel.

Team members combine their efforts to gather information about potential acts of terrorism on “soft target” sites such as public festivals, parades, political events, sports car races and college sporting events — any type of event that draws large crowds.

Meetings are held months in advance with event organizers and other first responder groups. During these meetings, the public’s safety is key. Operational plans are drafted, timetables are set and information is exchanged.

As the event draws near, it is common for police to inspect suspected target venues, while the Fire Department’s bomb squad dogs search for the smell of explosives before an event is set to open. Throughout the duration of the event, Police, Fire, Emergency Medical Service and JHIT personnel are standing by to prevent, respond to, mitigate and recover from acts of terrorism or violence.

What you can do

Do your part to keep Fort Worth safe by reporting suspicious activities in your neighborhood. It is likely that domestic and foreign terrorists will try to blend in and keep a low profile until it is time to act, but sometimes clues will pop up.

You know what is normal in your neighborhood and workplace, and you know when something does not feel right. Unfamiliar vehicles appearing around abandoned houses, strangers in the neighborhood sketching buildings or asking questions about schools, shift changes or the number of police patrols in the area might be a sign that information is being collected for a possible terrorist act.

If you see something that is out of the ordinary — a strange vehicle loaded with boxes and wires that is parked near an electric or communications substation, a backpack or box left unattended in a crowded area or perhaps a slip of the tongue when an angry coworker is venting — it might be an indication of possible violence.

Fort Worth’s first responders do a great job gathering information, but they cannot stay on top of everything. They are counting on your support. Help them gain an advantage in the fight against terrorism. If you See Something, Say Something.

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Calendar

Building Standards Commission Pre-Meeting: 9 a.m. Oct. 22, 2018; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Building Standards Commission Meeting: 9:30 a.m. Oct. 22, 2018; Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Ad Hoc Municipal Court Advisory Committee: 11:30 a.m. Oct. 22, 2018; City Managers Conference Room 380, Third Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Trinity Metro Board of Directors Meeting: 3:30 p.m. Oct. 22, 2018; Intermodal Transportation Center, Second Floor, Community Room, 1001 Jones Street.
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Hammond Street Drainage Improvements Project Meeting: 6 p.m. Oct. 22, 2018; Victory Forest Community Center, 3427 Hemphill St.

Bellaire Channel Stormwater Maintenance Project Meeting: 6 p.m. Oct. 22, 2018; South Hills Christian Church, 3200 Bilglade Road.

Senior Spooky Social at Hillside: 10 a.m. Oct. 23, 2018; Hillside Community Center, 1201 E. Maddox Ave.

Audit Committee: 2 p.m. Oct. 23, 2018; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. Oct. 23, 2018; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. Oct. 23, 2018; Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Metropolitan Area EMS Authority/MedStar Mobile Healthcare: 10 a.m. Oct. 24, 2018; MedStar Mobile Healthcare, 2900 Alta Mere Drive.
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City Plan Commission Work Session: 11:30 a.m. Oct. 24, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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City Plan Commission Public Hearing: 1:30 p.m. Oct. 24, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Chambers, 200 Texas Street.
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Park & Recreation Advisory Board Work Session: 3 p.m. Oct. 24, 2018; Diamond Hill Community Center, 1701 Northeast 36th Street.
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Park & Recreation Advisory Board Meeting: 4 p.m. Oct. 24, 2018; Diamond Hill Community Center, 1701 Northeast 36th Street.
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Rolling Townhall: Spooky Bike Ride: 5:30 p.m. Oct. 24, 2018; Western Heritage Plaza (in front of the Museum of Science and History), 1600 Gendy St.

Arlington Heights Stormwater Meeting: 6 p.m. Oct. 24, 2018; Fort Worth Professional Firefighters Hall, 3855 Tulsa Way.

Central Arlington Heights Public Meeting - Voluntary Property Acquisitions: 6 p.m. Oct. 24, 2018; Fort Worth Professional Firefighters Hall, 3855 Tulsa Way.

Emergency Physicians Advisory Board: 12:30 p.m. Oct. 25, 2018; TCMS Building, 3rd Floor, 555 Hemphill.
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Lights On Afterschool at Greenbriar: 5 p.m. Oct. 25, 2018; Greenbriar Community Center, 5200 Hemphill St.

Fall Festival at Chisholm Trail: 6 p.m. Oct. 25, 2018; Chisholm Trail Community Center, 4936 McPherson Blvd.

Fort Worth Business Plan Competition Finals: 6 p.m. Oct. 25, 2018; TCU Brown Lupton University Union Ballroom, 2901 Stadium Drive.
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Responsible Pet Ownership Class: 6 p.m. Oct. 25, 2018; Chuck Silcox Animal Care & Adoption Center, 4900 Martin Street.

Collective Bargaining Negotiations with International Association of Fire Fighters, Local Union 440: 1:30 p.m. Oct. 26, 2018; IAFF Local 440 Office, 3855 Tulsa Way.
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Lead Safe Community Resource Fair: 4 p.m. Oct. 26, 2018; La Gran Plaza Mall, 4200 South Fwy.

Fall Festival at Diamond Hill: 5 p.m. Oct. 26, 2018; Diamond Hill Community Center, 1701 NE 36th St.

Fall Festival at Hillside: 6 p.m. Oct. 26, 2018; Hillside Community Center, 1201 E. Maddox Ave.

Fall Festival at Greenbriar: 6 p.m. Oct. 26, 2018; Greenbriar Community Center, 5200 Hemphill St.

Fall Festival at Highland Hills: 6 p.m. Oct. 26, 2018; Highland Hills Community Center, 1600 Glasgow Rd..

Fall Festival at Fire Station Community Center: 7 p.m. Oct. 26, 2018; Fire Station Community Center, 1601 Lipscomb St.

Fall Festival at R.D. Evans: 7 p.m. Oct. 26, 2018; R.D. Evans Community Center, 3242 Lackland Rd..

Overcoming Trauma Domestic Violence Youth & Families Summit and Community Resource Fair: 9 a.m. Oct. 27, 2018; Christ Chapel Bible Church, 3701 Birchman Ave.
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Everything You Need to Start a Business: 9 a.m. Oct. 27, 2018; Business Assistance Center at the Guinn Campus, 1150 South Freeway.
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Restaurant Boot Camp: For New and Existing Restaurant Owners: 9 a.m. Oct. 27, 2018; Business Assistance Center at the Guinn Campus, 1150 South Freeway.
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Fall Festival at Andrew Doc Session: 10 a.m. Oct. 27, 2018; Andrew Doc Session Community Center, 201 S. Sylvania Ave.

Halloween Carnival at North Tri-Ethnic: 10 a.m. Oct. 27, 2018; North Tri-Ethnic Community Center, 2950 Roosevelt Ave.

Fall Festival at Southside: 11 a.m. Oct. 27, 2018; Southside Community Center, 959 E. Rosedale St.

Fall Festival at Northside: 2 p.m. Oct. 27, 2018; Northside Community Center, 1100 NW 18th St.

View the full city calendar and current meetings.