As noted earlier today, Representative Betsy Markey has requested that Fort Collins Police Department keep a closer eye on her home.
The presumed reason? Reported threats made against at least ten members of Congress who voted in favor of the controversial health-care bill.
However, FCPD public-information officer Al Brown says no such threats have been received at his department thus far. Moreover, he characterizes the additional security being provided for Markey as fairly routine -- the kind of thing that any Fort Collins resident planning a vacation can request.
"Betsy Markey's assistant did in fact contact the police department and ask for extra patrols," Brown confirms. "It's part of the service we provide to the community. Any community member can call up and say, 'I'm going out of town,' and ask for extra patrols. The request comes in, and it's provided to officers in that patrol area, who enhance and increase our visibility and our observance of a specific residence."
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Such sweeps don't involve extra security details unless there are additional factors, and as Brown notes, "there have been no specific threats received by the police department about Betsy Markey's residence -- just a concern about potential acts of vandalism. So we're going to provide extra visibility and patrol in that area."
This description suggests that much of the media coverage about the Markey request may be overstated -- but Brown sees positives in it. Because Markey's neighbors have likely heard about the situation, they can be expected to keep a closer watch over the property, too.
"Any time we can get the community engaged in being additional eyes and ears, it increases our community safety," he says. "Extra patrol requests can do that, but vigilant and observant citizens can as well."