Federal agencies increase security

March 24, 2003|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

Some federal agencies in the Tri-State area began increasing security in response to fighting in Iraq while several remained unchanged from conditions tied to the federal "code orange" threat level.


  • C&O National Historic Park. All visitor facilities remain open on regular schedule and the park service plans on a full opening for spring, a spokesman said. The threat alert has increased park security, and police are checking neighboring facilities as well.

  • Antietam National Battlefield. No visitor procedures have changed, park personnel said, although there is increased security because of the national threat level.

  • Fort Detrick, Frederick, Md. The base remains at force protection condition "Charlie," said spokeswoman Karen Fleming Michael. Decal parking permit holders must present two photo identifications. Visitors without parking decals are subject to have their cars searched and must present two photo identifications.

  • Monocacy National Battlefield. No visitor procedures have changed, park personnel said, although there is increased security because of the national threat level.


Site R. The 306th Military Police Battalion, Detachment 5, guards the base at Fort Ritchie which houses the secretive Site R. "Right now we're in the process of elevating our security," 1st Sgt. Augusto Tavernier said. He would not provide details.

West Virginia

  • Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Martinsburg, W.Va. On Friday, the hospital began stopping visitors at a checkpoint at the main gate, said spokeswoman Barbara Corbin.

    The gate is guarded by Veterans Affairs police 24 hours a day, seven days a week until further notice. That is in addition to the "code orange" security measures already in place.

    The hospital has 559 beds and sees about 1,000 outpatients a day, Corbin said. There are about 1,200 employees who work through the three daily shifts, and between 50 and 100 volunteers.

  • 167th Airlift Wing of the Air National Guard, Martinsburg, W.Va. Security has not changed this week, said spokesman Lt. Col. Roger Sencindiver. Unannounced visitors must provide a reason for the visit, and civilians must wear a base pass.

  • U.S. Coast Guard Operations System Center, Martinsburg, W.Va. The center has been preparing over a long period of time for war security and has made no immediate changes, said spokesman Lt. William Magness. The office complex mainly houses computer labs and government contractors.

  • Internal Revenue Service Computing Center, Martinsburg, W.Va. Spokesman Charles Koeneke said there is no public access to the site, and the IRS would not divulge any information about upgraded security at the campus.


  • U.S. Post Offices. Security hasn't changed since Sept. 11, 2001, said Hagerstown Postmaster Richard Sheffield. Customers with packages are asked about their contents, employees are looking for suspicious activity and there are regular checks on post office vehicles, he said.

  • Camp David. A spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service said of security at the presidential retreat near Thurmont, Md., "We have not made any adjustments nor are we aware of any adjustments that would have any impact on the general public in that area."
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