State's Nuclear Plants Get Security Grants

PAINESVILLE, Ohio (AP) - Sheriff's departments protecting the state's two nuclear power plants received grants from the state to enhance security.

The Lake County Sheriff's Department got a $10,000 grant Thursday for guarding the Perry Nuclear Power Plant.

"Nuclear power plants have always been a public concern," Sheriff Daniel Dunlap said. "We will use this money for armament. But we would be foolish to identify for terrorists just what weapons we will buy with it. It will not be just guns and bullets."

The Ottawa County Sheriff's Department received a similar grant several weeks ago for security at the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Plant near Port Clinton.

Dunlap said the grant would provide equipment that could be used at Perry and during other emergency situations like a hostage crisis.

The grants came from money confiscated during gambling and drug raids using the state's seizure laws, Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery said.

"After Sept. 11 there is a higher sense of alertness, especially near nuclear power plants," she said. "We felt it was important to give it back to these two counties because of their obligation to keep the power plants safe for the community."

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)