89.1 WEMU

How Has 9/11 Changed Emergency Response Tactics In Washtenaw County In The 15 years Since The Attack

Sep 8, 2016

National September 11 Memorial in New York City
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

This Sunday marks the 15-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States.  The events of that fateful day still inform our lives today, and in a myriad of ways.  It has certainly spawned improvements to our security here in our community.


There have been a wide range of changes in Washtenaw County emergency services following the 9/11 attacks.  Marc Breckenridge is the director of emergency management for the county.  He says one change involves how they get information about what's happening.  He remembers a lot of it came that day from media outlets and sited CNN for keeping the world informed. 

He says 9/11 lead to over $10 million in funding from the federal government that has helped enhance public safety in Washtenaw County.

"From building security to emergency planning to resources that we didn't have on hand that we might have wanted that could come into play if an attack like that were to occur in Michigan."

When it comes to the anniversary of 9/11 on Sunday, Breckenridge says they are always cognizant of anniversary dates.

"Yes, the Homeland Security threat is real.  It continues to be real.  We see that with ISIL/ISIS.  We see that with any number of domestic and international groups that are active currently today."

He says they will be prepared but don't expect any unusual problems.  The local emergency management chief, who's been on the job in Washtenaw County for 25 years, says their next area of concerns involve cyber security.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU.  You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu