Security in Wilmette tighter 5 years after Sept. 11 terror

On July 3, so many police officers patrolled Gillson Park for Wilmette's pre-Independence Day festival that when a father noticed a man seemingly intent on molesting his son, officers arrested the alleged offender before he had even decided which way to go, police said at the time.

Chief George Carpenter said last week he's not sure the crowd of blue made the arrest easier, but he knows why so many officers were at the park: the attention that he and other U.S. law enforcement leaders now pay to large gatherings five years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on American soil.

"The third of July, there were a whole lot of people down at Gillson Park," Carpenter recalled last week. The extra officers that served there "are part of a plan for a disaster we never envisioned" before Sept. 11, 2001, he said.

"Because of the advent of terrorism, police attention is given to community events that may not have received attention beforehand," he said. "Institutions in the village are more eager to share information about their events, and we might be more eager to pay attention.

{josquote}The Baha'i House of Worship, for example, has always been on our radar because of the history of oppression (of Baha'is) in the Middle East{/josquote}

"The Baha'i House of Worship, for example, has always been on our radar because of the history of oppression (of Baha'is) in the Middle East," he said. "And now we have even more interaction with our Jewish temples."

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