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Behind the Headlines: How is the St. Louis region prepared for the threat of terrorism?

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio
Dr. Alex Garza, Gary Christman and Rachel Lippmann on Friday's 'Behind the Headlines.'

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh discussed the top news stories that caught St. Louisans’ attention this week, with the people that produced them and contributed to them.

This week, we discussed how prepared the St. Louis region is for dealing with a terrorist attack. Earlier this week, officials from across the St. Louis region participated in a Joint Counter-Terrorism Awareness Workshop that suddenly became more meaningful afterlearning of the terrorist attacks in Brussels

"You hear about these planning and tabletop exercises a lot," said St. Louis Public Radio reporter Rachel Lippmann. "The fact that Brussels happened gave them the real world to look at, but an attack like Brussels is always in the back of their minds. That's why they do these training operations."

Gary Christmann, the Commissioner of the City of St. Louis Emergency Management Agency who set up the training, said that Brussels emphasized the point they were trying to get across to their partners: things like this can happen anywhere in the world.

"I wouldn't say that we are at the top tier of vulnerabilities as far as terrorism goes," Christman said. "Anywhere around the world, you're going to find that vulnerability. Everybody has critical infrastructure, everyone has special events...everyone has those things that terrorists look for as opportunities for terrorists to strike."

Christmann and Lippmann were joined by Alexander Garza, M.D., MPH, Epidemiologist and Physician; Associate Dean of Public Health Practice at Saint Louis University, to discuss how the region is preparing in the case of a terrorism attack.

St. Louis Public Radio health reporter Durrie Bouscaren also joined the show to discuss new findings at the Bridgeton Landfill. More background on that here

Listen to the discussion here:

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary Edwards, Alex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region. 

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Kelly Moffitt joined St. Louis Public Radio in 2015 as an online producer for St. Louis Public Radio's talk shows St. Louis on the Air.