Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Watching Security in Action

The President was in our area yesterday and I was in the area where the President was to be traveling. I went up to the Cannon Falls area to have lunch with a friend, heading up the same highway that Obama would be traveling down. As I was going north I began to notice that there were State Troopers and MN Department of Transportation trucks beginning to show up at the crossroads and turnarounds. This was about 10:45 or so, more than a hour before the President was to be in Cannon Falls and at least three hours before he would be traveling by.

I began to think about the incredible amounts of security that go into a trip like this. Not just the normal Secret Service protection, but what is planned to make the route safe where the President is to be. I was glad I was getting off that road before Cannon Falls.

I didn't think much about the trip back home, partly because I had no idea how long the Town Hall Meeting itself was to last. So, getting to the Hwy. 52 intersection I noticed the police car sitting there waiting. I turned onto southbound 52 and was soon aware that the President was still somewhere behind me.

Every cross road and turnaround had some kind of vehicle at it or in it. State Police, Sheriffs, Mn DOT trucks, fire engines, ambulances. Every overpass had official vehicles waiting at each end, no doubt to block cross-traffic. This continued all the way down to Rochester where I got off.I called ahead and had my wife meet me on the east side of the highway since we had to be downtown by 2:30 and, knowing my luck, the cross streets could well be blocked when I needed to get across.

Later on the news I saw the big black bus heading through our area. I realized that all that sitting and waiting by the police and others was for just that quick minute when the bus went rumbling past, escort ahead and behind. The reasons for such security are obvious, of course. We have all watched enough shows like "24" or "NCIS" to know that terrorists will try anything. But to see it in action and think about the possible consequences if such security weren't in place, was actually quite sobering.

I wish it weren't so. To live with those threats is not a comfortable way to live. Most of the time we don't even have to think about that. But I am glad the security process is there and that it is as thorough as it is.

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