More security at Cleveland Hopkins Airport after Brussels attacks

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CLEVELAND-- There will be an increased number of security officers at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in the wake of the deadly attacks in Brussels.

Dozens were killed and hundreds were injured during three explosions at an airport and subway station in Brussels. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

At least two U.S. cities — Washington and New York City — have stepped up security in the wake of the explosions.

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Fred Szabo, interim director of port control, said TSA has deployed a higher number of uniformed officers, behavior detection officers and K-9 officers at Cleveland Hopkins and other airports across the country. He said this is purely precautionary and the airport has been on high alert since Sept. 11.

"You will see, as a result of this incident, there has been an increased number of officers in public areas, on roadways and ticketing and baggage claim levels, and TSA has employed strategies to try to minimize risks," Szabo said.

Szabo emphasized, "This is a safe and secure airport," adding not all of the circumstances in Brussels apply to us. He said they are focusing on potential vulnerabilities in public areas and learning from what happened in Belgium.

TSA is responsible for security beyond its checkpoints, while the city handles everything up to that point, including the public areas.

City spokesman Dan Williams indicated earlier in the day there would be no changes to security at the Cleveland airport.

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority also boosted police visibility.  Commander Michael Gettings, with the Transit Police Department, said 104 full time officers were on patrol, along with 8 K9 bomb detecting teams.

"When I hear about something like this happening around the world it obviously is a concern," Gettings said. "It makes you a little bit more aware. It makes you concentrate a little more on what's going on in your surroundings, but on a daily basis, our officers are out there."

He said cameras on trains and buses serve as a deterrent, but RTA relies on passengers to report anything out of the ordinary, such as unattended packages.

"The passengers know better than anybody what the system should look like," he said.

Earlier Tuesday, RTA spokesperson Linda Krecic released the following statement:

"RTA and all transit systems have been on a heightened security protocol since 911. We are monitoring the situation closely, although there is no specific threat known to the US. At this time our officers and our eight K-9s are providing and overseeing security on the rail and bus system, as we continue to receive intelligence regarding this international situation."

RTA offers a phone number called "I Watch RTA" that allows passengers to send in anonymous tips. Passengers can also call transit police at 216-566-5163 or dial 911.

Continuing coverage here. 

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