WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has ordered beefed-up security at federal buildings across the country, including here in Chicago.
The move came one week after a gunman in Ottawa fatally shot a soldier as he stood as a ceremonial guard at Ottawa’s National War Memorial, then stormed the Parliament building. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the shooting a terrorist attack.READ MORE: Detectives Following 'Promising Leads' In Shooting Death Of 8-Year-Old Melissa Ortega, Mayor Says
Minutes after the bulletin from Homeland Security, the increased police presence at the federal complex in Chicago’s Loop was visible.
Armed Federal Protection Service police officers were patrolling the sidewalks around the Dirksen federal courthouse and other buildings. At least one bomb-sniffing dog was seen, CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports.
CBS 2 security consultant Ross Rice, a retired FBI agent, says Americans should get used to the scenes unfolding now at hundreds of federal properties.READ MORE: Sources: Illinois State Police Member, Woman Found Shot Dead In Car On Southeast Side
“I think this is going to be the new normal for the foreseeable future,” he said.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson would not identify the buildings that will receive enhanced security or disclose the specific security measures to be taken by the Federal Protective Service, which protects more than 9,500 federal facilities visited daily by roughly 1.4 million people. But he said “prudence dictates a heightened vigilance” to protect government buildings and workers.
He also called on law enforcement nationwide to be on the lookout for small-scale attacks, like the one in Canada, “by a lone offender or a small group of individuals.”
Canadian authorities have said the accused gunman in last week’s attack, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, was driven by ideological and political motives and made a video before the shooting talking about Canada’s foreign policy and his religious beliefs.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Bitter Cold Temps This Week
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