NATO Communications Center A Suburban Secret
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CHICAGO (CBS) – A secret, unmarked location in a Chicago suburb will serve as the base for emergency responders during this weekend’s NATO summit.
CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine got a tour of the communications center on Thursday.
He describes it as an expanded version of Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management & Communications. But instead of streets and sanitation, fire and the water department, there are the secret service, FBI and the Illinois National Guard.
“The goal here is to make sure everyone has the best information they can to function during the time of the NATO summit,” Roger Goodes of the Secret Service said.
Forty-three agencies will be represented once the center is up and running.
“We’re hoping it’ll be a non-event, it’ll be boring for us here, but we’ll be prepared if anything happens,” Chicago Police Capt. Hootan Bahmandeji said.
The other agencies that will staff the communications center have ties to transportation and utilities. A number of them were already in place Thursday, ready for the first dignitaries scheduled to arrive Friday night.
Their work won’t be done until the last ones leave late Monday.
For some, events like this are routine. But there are also first-timers like the Illinois National Guard, which will provide drivers for members of foreign delegations.
“You just have to put on a friendly face and have a nice uniform and greet people properly,” Capt. Dustin Cammack said.
So far, the intelligence-gatherers say they’ve found nothing to worry about.
“No credible or actionable intelligence has been developed as of this morning,” FBI spokesman Ross Rice said.