Traverse City Record-Eagle

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April 28, 2013

Public safety leaders encourage readiness


Borkovich said crimes like the ones in Newtown, Columbine, Aurora and Boston can be prevented through citizen diligence and a willingness to call authorities when something doesn't seem right. He said most mass shootings are preceded by "all kinds of warnings."

"We have to have help from the public," Borkovich said. "They have to have their radar up and call us when they see something that seems really suspicious or a kid who is totally detached ... when you get input like this from your kids, it doesn't hurt simply to pass it on to school officials, who will pass it on to us."

Bird said money from the federal Homeland Security Department to public safety agencies in the region dwindled from $3 million to $300,000 in the most recent fiscal year, but local leaders constantly plan for the worst case scenarios. Interviews with officials at Munson Medical Center, the U.S. Coast Guard, area fire departments and the American Red Cross indicate the same.

"I think we are really fortunate to live in this community; all the community partners work very well together," said John Bolde, director of safety and security at Munson.



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