Security Tight for Presidential Visit

As you might imagine, when the leader of the free world comes calling, there's a bit of security surrounding him. But it's not just the Secret Service and military members that are on hand. There was plenty of local security help.

Most days, it's an empty field on the northwest side of Reed Arena. Friday, it was a VIP: a very important patch. Another acronym would be LZ: "landing zone" for the 43rd president.

Brazos County Sheriff Chris Kirk and 14 deputies were there to secure the spot where George Bush arrived.

"You want to make sure you have every event planned for, every possible event that could happen," Kirk said. "Certainly, having five big helicopters come in and the opportunity for somebody to run up is great, so we wanted to make sure we had enough officers out here."

Mr. Bush's day began in Washington. He boarded Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, and landed at Texas State Technical College Airport in Waco a little after 9 a.m. Friday. Minutes later, he was on board Marine One. A helicopter convoy made its way south to Aggieland.

Click here to view video of the president's speech in its entirety, along with raw video of the trip and News 3's coverage.

And if you strolled around the arena, you'd probably agree that there was enough law enforcement. If you looked up, snipers. If you looked left and right, traffic control.

And if you looked down one road, Constable Wayne Thompson, making sure the wrong cars didn't come down his street.

"It's just a deal where they have to have more manpower, and they call on us to do it, and we're glad to help them out," Thompson said.

"Them" being A&M University Police, who often coordinate dignitary visits. Secret Service does it for a living, so they're used to seeing things like big lines, and even a protestor or two, peaceful but closely watched.

Click here to read Steve Fullhart's blog about the Bush speech.

Visitors watched huge lines as they approached Reed and probably watched their watches thinking it would take forever. It didn't...smooth sailing despite the checkpoints.

"I expected to have a little line and having a lot of people," attendee Winston Faltine said. "I was figuring there'd be quite a bit of a crowd here. It should be fine, though."

"I was a little surprised by the intensity of the security, but not really once you think about it because it's the president," added Kristen Benkendorfer, another attendee.

It's a large scale for security that Sheriff Kirk can appreciate.

"The eyes of the world are here today, and that's kind of awesome when you think about it," he said.

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