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Law officers on high alert

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The National Homeland Security Chief wants law enforcement across the country to remain on high alert through the end of the Olympics. Here in Utah, that doesn't change any security plans.

Since the terrorist attacks, Olympic security concerns have dominated preparations. A new alert may raise anxiety, but planners remain confident that when Olympic fans crowd the Medals Plaza, they'll be safe.

Security fences now surround the Medals Plaza, Olympic Stadium, and areas at the competition venues.

Specifics about security are scarce, but we've heard numerous national warnings to be alert.

Thursday, the FBI told 18-thousand law enforcement agencies it would extend the alert until March 11th, through the Winter Olympics, and the six month anniversary of 9-11.

Utah's Public Safety Commissioner Robert Flowers says the advisories are problematic because they are vague. But he would rather have vague alerts than no alerts.

"It meant to us to make sure our intelligence mechanisms are working, that we are rechecking what we consider vulnerable kinds of sites. But, we're doing what we need to do here," Flowers said.

The Commissioner says the joint security force is taking care of small details, such as the number of cars for police officers. But the big issues are settled.

Some training started years ago. More than 7,000 security, safety and health professionals from as many as 80 agencies will join the effort at a cost of approximately 300-million dollars.

The commissioner says the Olympics will be as secure as possible with the resources they have.

"We're right on target. our plans are coming to fruition. we're meeting our deadlines," Flowers said.

The Secretary of the Army and the FBI Director have visited and reviewed the plans. Homeland Security director Tom Ridge will visit next week.

"He'll get briefed by the FBI, the Secret Service and myself. He'll want to know what we've done with our homeland security plan," Flowers said.

The Public Safety Commissioner has made a proposal to the Homeland Security Office to put together a regional training center for counterterrorism at Camp Williams.

It would serve a five state area, and train various professionals in the war on terrorism.