Enhanced security around Tampa Bay after Osama bin Laden death

5:17 AM, May 3, 2011   |    comments
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TAMPA, Florida -- When Krystal Apollo tried entering MacDill Air Force Base earlier today, she was asked to provide a little more identification than usual. No problem, she got what she needed from her car.

It was all part of the enhanced security in place indefinitely now at the base, which is home to SOCOM, the Special Ops Command that took out Osama Bin Laden.

Photo Gallery: Osama bin Laden is dead

Krystal, with 3-year-old son Nicholas in tow, was more than happy to cooperate with - if not grateful for - the added precautions.

"I wouldn't want anything to happen to anyone, let alone him," she said.

All over the Bay area, security was stepped up. At Tampa International Airport, which was already on high alert, there weren't any major changes. If anything, it was more behind the scenes stuff, said airport officials.

It was comforting enough for passengers like Mike Osborne. "I'm confident in our security here, and we'll be fine," he said.

Much like airports, seaports also stepped up security today. At the Port of Tampa, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office made its presence known by parking cruisers right in front.

Along with the normal checking of ID's, deputies peered into taxi-cab trunks. Passengers loading aboard the Carnival Inspiration seemed aware, but not overly concerned.

"I could see them worrying that there might be a response from us going over there and killing him," said passenger Mike Westholder.

But looking around him, passenger Don Kuzmickas said he felt fine.

"I think we're well-protected and safe, and we can just relax and enjoy ourselves," he said.

At Tampa's Amtrak station, rail passengers saw few, if any, changes in security personnel. But signs were scattered throughout the waiting area at Union Station, urging people to report anything that seemed out of the ordinary.

Passenger Wylie Dawes promised to be on alert.

"We will be vigilant, looking out for anything funny going on while we take the train back to Ft. Lauderdale," said Dawes.

Fortunately there had been no reports of any incidents at any of the points of enhanced security around the Bay area, but officials have not said how long the enhancements will remain in effect.



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