Police and fire departments were on heightened alert in the Monadnock Region and throughout New Hampshire Tuesday, after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.
In part, the alerts were a precaution in case the terrorist attacks spread through the countryside; in part, they were reassurance to the citizenry that law and order would prevail.
The Keene Police Department was preparing to staff an emergency operations center, where police, fire and other city departments could communicate with federal, state and local officials in case anything happened.
Several Keene police officers have been trained how to deal with massive casualties, such as the kind that would occur in a terrorist attack, said Keene Police Chief Barry E. Wante.
Capt. Hal G. Brown, a member of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster mortuary response team, was called to Concord for a briefing.
"This is just a terrible thing," Wante said of Tuesday's attacks.
After Gov. Jeanne Shaheen said there was no threat to New Hampshire, and state offices would remain open, Wante and Keene school officials decided local schools would stay open, too.
At Southwestern N.H. Fire Mutual Aid, dispatchers received no specific instructions related to Tuesday's attacks, but stayed in contact with the state Office of Emergency Management, said Joseph Sangermano, a dispatcher.
Cheshire County Superior Court was in session Tuesday, and making sure the building was safe was a top priority, said Sheriff Richard A. Foote.Deputies searched the building many times Tuesday,
Foote said the courthouse is searched every morning anyway, and "I think we're as satisfied with that as we can be," Foote said. "As far as we're concerned, we have normal security measures here at the courthouse."
The Keene Fire Department filled water barricades at the U.S. Army Reserve Center station on Lower Main Street in Keene; all federal military offices were placed on high alert, and barricades and trucks were moved into place to keep terrorist trucks from plowing into the building.
Dillant-Hopkins Airport in Swanzey, like all other airports throughout the country, was shut down; no flights were allowed, and a corporate plane's scheduled landing was canceled, said Charles M. Lovett, who was in charge of the Keene-owned airport while the city airport director, Ed Mattern, was away on business.
Lovett said up to half a dozen corporate planes and 20 private plans land at the airport every day. Lovett's company, C.M. Lovett Aviation Inc., provides services for planes, such as fuel, maintenance and storage.
Jaffrey Police Chief Robert A. Pelio -- who grew up in Long Island City in Queens, across the East River from Manhattan -- said his officers were trying to be more visible in the community after Tuesday's attacks.
Pelio said the terrorist attack had widespread emotional impacts, and "just talking to people helps."