Agencies stand firm, together in fight against terrorism

Published 7:30 pm Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Local officials and officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ divisions in Warren County Monday affirmed a commitment to maintaining vigilance against terrorism.

Vicksburg Fire Chief Craig Danczyk and Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace participated with Corps officials in the ceremony to sign an anti-terrorism proclamation expressing unity in fighting terrorism.

Pace and Danczyk said the city and county have had a good working relationship with ERDC and the Corps.

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“We appreciate the partnership,” Pace said. “The partnership we enjoy with ERDC is unique.”

“ERDC is the cornerstone of our community, and just so valuable,” Danczyk said. “It’s a pleasure to partner with ERDC.”

The ceremony was part of an observance of August as Anti-Terrorism Month, which was established by the Department of Defense, at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center.

“Although Vicksburg is considered a safe environment where threats of terrorism aren’t necessarily an everyday occurrence, that doesn’t mean service members, civilians and the community can be any less vigilant,” ERDC commander Ivan Beckman said Monday.

He said ERDC observes Anti-Terrorism Awareness with special programs and operations security training to increase and encourage awareness throughout the installation.

He said a 2017 Government Accountability Office report indicated that in the years since Sept. 11, 2001, there have been 85 acts of terrorism in the U.S.

Those acts, according the report, came from far right politics, violent extremist groups and Islamic violent extremists, causing 225 deaths, he said.

“We feel it’s a great time for us to express our unity with the community in the effort to maintain anti-terrorism awareness,” he said, “Especially in view of the tragic domestic terrorism events that took place over the weekend in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas.

“We have to be very vigilant, because terrorism is definitely something we have to protect ourselves from,” he said, urging the officials signing the proclamation to be proactive in identifying potential threats to the community. “See something, say something. We must be aware,” he said.

“We feel this event (the signing) is especially appropriate today. Although we set aside August as Anti-Terrorism Awareness Month, we must remain vigilant throughout the year,” Beckman said.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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