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Monday, Apr. 27, 2015

Sears Tower security tightened

Monday, November 12, 2001

CHICAGO (AP) -- Employees and visitors at the Sears Tower will have to pass through metal detectors and have their bags X-rayed as part of increased security at the nation's tallest building.

The X-ray baggage scanners debuted Monday in the tower's two main lobbies. Metal detectors will be operating inside the lobbies in a week, according to a building management memo and a building spokesman.

"All individuals entering the building are required to pass through metal detector portals and have their baggage X-rayed," officials from TrizecHahn Corp. wrote to the tower's 125 tenants. "Anyone failing to comply with this process will not be allowed to enter the building."

Workers and visitors to the building stood in long lines Monday morning as they waited for their bags to be X-rayed.

David Moore, an executive recruiter who works on the 70th floor, said he thinks the extra security measures make sense.

"I've seen people walk in and not have their bags checked thoroughly," he said.

But Susan Banks, who works for a law firm on the 82nd floor, said X-ray machines are not foolproof.

"People are still able to get things in and anything can be considered a weapon," she said, adding that scissors in an office could even be construed as a weapon.

Mark Spencer, a spokesman for TrizecHahn, said federal authorities have not warned of any "specific or credible" threat against the 110-story tower.

The increased security is an outgrowth of the company hiring two security consulting firms after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, he said.

The number of security personnel at the tower has doubled since the attacks, and off-duty Chicago police are patrolling its lobbies. Specially trained dogs are sniffing all trucks and packages before they are allowed into the loading dock. Concrete barricades painted red, white and blue protect the building's three entrances.

The tower's observation deck reopened last month, but its visitors now must pass through X-ray scanners and metal detectors.

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