Is Houston prepared for a terrorist attack?

- Tuesday’s deadly terrorist attack in Brussels should not have come as a shock to officials there says Joe Barnes with Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

“The Belgian authorities were clearly aware months ago of the connection between the Paris attacks and individuals residing in Brussels so at the general level this attack should come as no surprise,” Barnes said. 

Of course Brussels isn’t the only European city to be targeted by terrorists.

“This is an insidious threat that’s geographically dispersed throughout Europe,” Barnes said.

What about back here at home? Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner says keeping our city safe from terrorist attacks is a 24 hour 7 day a week job.

“We continually work collaboratively with all law enforcement agencies to make sure this city and this region remain safe,” Turner said.

The mayor says the city has its own homeland security division that has been in place for years.

“And we’re beefing up even before this incident occurs same thing for law enforcement, HPD,” said Turner.
The mayor says so many areas of Houston like the Port the Medical Center and the petrochemical industry need protection from possible terrorist attacks.

And then there is the Final Four just a couple of weeks away and next years’ Super Bowl. Some fear big events like those could make Houston an even bigger target. 

“In this city almost every single week there is a major event and law enforcement and the city of Houston is ably prepared to work to keep our city safe,” Turner said.

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