Terrorist threat information center opens in Tacoma

Tacoma and Pierce County residents can now call one number for non-emergency personal and community safety questions related to perceived threats of terrorism: 404-3700.
The City of Tacoma opened its Emergency Operations Center Tuesday to act as an information clearinghouse for calls related to anthrax scares, bomb threats and other questions from individual citizens, businesses and organizations.
The center is led by the Tacoma Fire Department and closely coordinated with Tacoma Police. All emergency calls should still go to 9-1-1.
The center will remain open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, until further notice.
After-hours voicemail will record messages and staff will return calls the next morning.
Staff from all city departments will answer queries related to threats.
Two lieutenants from the Tacoma Fire Department will staff the center and coordinate responses – verifying all information released from the center and connecting with appropriate city departments, including the Tacoma Police Department.
The center will also coordinate responses that involve Tacoma Public Utilities, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, Pierce County, the Red Cross, local hospitals, Port of Tacoma, State Emergency Management Division and other emergency responder agencies as necessary.
“We have a duty to do things a little differently as a result of what happened in September and what continues to happen on the world front,” said City Manager Ray E. Corpuz, Jr.
The center hopes to dispel rumors and correct inaccurate information as well as fulfill requests for individual assistance on emergency planning.
In addition to the one-stop information center, the city continues to identify potential terrorist targets in Tacoma, assess potential threats and conduct scenario planning.
“We haven’t had any credible threats in Tacoma since Sept. 11,” said Fire Chief Eileen Lewis. “We want to make sure our community has easy access to good, verified information.”
The Pierce County Emergency Management Division also has appointed a liaison to work with the city’s information clearinghouse and coordinate with the new Pierce County Terrorism Task Force.
The city has also started to put up a Web site of emergency information at: