Security Tight At Romney Visit To The Century Mine - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Security Tight At Romney Visit To The Century Mine In Beallsville

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It was a brief speech, but preparations were in the works for weeks beforehand.

And the emphasis was on security.

They had sharpshooters on the rooftops, plus agents from the Transportation Safety Administration, Homeland Security,  the Secret Service and two sheriff's departments.

Just coming through the gate was a process.

All bags, purses and cameras were taken from their owners, checked by officers, then re-checked by trained sniffing K-9s.

"The Columbus Bomb Squad is also here, working with the presidential candidate," said Derek Stewart of the Beallsville EMS. "They have bomb dogs. They have drug dogs."

Federal, state and county law enforcers were on hand.

Secret Service agents had been in contact with local officials for two weeks, doing advance work for an event that was only announced to the public four days earlier.

The Century Mine was clearly chosen for Romney's coal message.

But being in the center of a densely wooded area was a challenge for security.

"Being down in this valley, I'm sure it is a big challenge for them, to protect anybody that would be down in here, yes."

And if you were impressed by the security forces at the entrance, one law enforcer put it all in perspective.

"The front gate is only ten percent of our people," said the unidentified officer. "It's the security you don't see that counts."