Janesville25.4°

GM security, police ready for last day of SUV production

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Ted Sullivan
December 20, 2008
— Janesville police and General Motors security will be ready if they're needed when sport utility vehicle production ends Tuesday.

"I would imagine that (security) would be heightened a little bit," GM spokeswoman Mary Fanning-Penny said. "I think, with the anticipation of a media circus, that would warrant increased security."


Janesville police have discussed having an adequate number of officers on the streets when the SUV line stops.


"This is certainly a new event in this community—to lose an employer of this size—so we stand ready to be flexible with our response in the community," Deputy Chief David Moore said.


A crowd of media members, visitors and workers are expected at the plant Tuesday.


"It is a stressful day and an emotional day for many in our community, and how it presents itself could be dependant upon the individual," Moore said.


The plant has not asked the police department to provide extra patrol, Moore said, but the department would honor that request if asked.


"We look to work with GM as we would with any business in the community that has needs," Moore said.


Another concern is securing the plant after Isuzu truck production ends in the spring, shutting down the plant.


The plant is gated, but it could invite trouble.


Abandoned buildings can attract vandalism, Moore said, and kids might trespass inside the plant.


The plant is more than 4 million square feet. It sits on about 250 acres. It is unknown whether the facility will be sold, demolished or kept. The decision is up to GM.


GM's security guards will remain at the plant while Isuzus are produced, ensuring the plant is secure and safe, Fanning-Penny said.


But a limited number of entrances will be open to employees and visitors, she said.


It is premature to know whether security will be on hand after the plant completely shuts down, Fanning-Penny said.



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