No major changes for county security

As American troops prepare to invade Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein from power, Mohave County prepares for any terrorist retaliation.

With the current threat condition on "orange" or high, the Bureau of Reclamation has not changed any of its current restrictions for traffic across Hoover Dam, Bureau of Reclamation public affairs officer Bob Walsh said.

With the change from yellow to orange alert, there is an increased presence by Hoover Dam police at the checkpoints on each side of Hoover Dam.

More frequent inspections have also taken place, Walsh said.

Walsh would not speculated if Hoover Dam would be closed for passenger vehicles only if the threat level was raised to red.

That would depend on what the Department of Homeland Security recommends, he said.

Commercial tractor-trailers are still restricted across the dam unless truck drivers have special permission from Hoover Dam police or if the business is within 75-mile radius of the dam.

Recreational vehicles, motor homes, horse trailers and rental trucks are allowed only if items are easily accessible for inspection.

Tour buses are allowed as long as passengers are not carrying luggage.

Delays of 15 to 30 minutes can be expected because of the construction of the new Highway 93 bypass just south of the dam.

At the Kingman Airport, Mohave County sheriff's deputies continue to patrol the airport's one morning and one afternoon commercial flight a day, MCSO spokesman Jarrod Lyman said.

"We're on the look out for anything suspicious," Lyman said.

After the Sept.

11, 2001 terrorist attack, state National Guard troops provided security at the airport until MCSO took over.

MCSO, the Kingman Police Department and local firefighters are all prepared to respond quickly to any emergency.

County emergency planning is ongoing and its staff is prepared to set up the county's emergency operations center immediately upon any threat, County Manager Ron Walker said.

The county's Web site can be accessed for more information on security at www.co.mohave.az.us.

If the threat level goes to "red," Arizona Department of Public Safety officers could be assigned to Hoover Dam for added security, DPS spokesman Frank Valenzuela said.

Since the heightened orange alert, DPS has set up its state emergency operations center on line 24 hours a day.

The tip line number is 602-223-2690 for suspicious activity or general information.