How Central Texas has changed 15 years after 9/11

The "Tribute in Light" memorial is in remembrance of the events of September 11, 2001, in honor of the citizens who lost their lives in the World Trade Center attacks. The two towers of light are composed of two banks of high wattage spotlights that point straight up from a lot next to Ground Zero. The ÒTribute in LightÓ memorial was first held in March 2002. This photo was taken from Liberty State Park, New Jersey on September11, 2006, the five year anniversary of 9/11. USAF photo by Denise Gould.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Central Texas is just days away from 9/11 ceremonies. It’s been almost 15 years and for Commander Darryl Jamail with Austin Police Department’s Intelligence Division, it’s a day he can’t and won’t forget.

“I remember exactly where I was. I think most people probably do,” said Jamail, who was a detective with APD at the time. Now he leads a division that was born out of

Now he leads a division that was born out of crisis: the Austin Regional Intelligence Center. The division works with law enforcement up and down Interstate 35 from Bell County to Comal County.

“We rely on the first responders, paramedics, firefighters, police or whoever to get us anything that is suspicious activity or something that is potentially criminal or terrorist in nature so we can investigate it,” said Jamail.

Commander Darryl Jamail with APD's intelligence Division
Commander Darryl Jamail with APD’s Intelligence Division

It was a suspicious activity call that led Jamail’s division to Michael Wolfe. The Austin man was arrested in 2014 for trying to board a flight to Syria. Court documents say Wolfe was headed to the Middle East to help radical groups.

Jamail admits threats to our nation’s safety is changing and now more focused on the web.

“Back then, we looked at al-Qaeda and they are in Afghanistan and they are the enemy and this is who we are going after. Now, we are seeing threats that are coming in just over the internet and people are getting radicalized in our country,” said Jamail.

Since 9/11 there are more security procedures in place not just at the airport, but also when you go into a lot of buildings. Most now have security around the building and some require a photo ID at the front desk. Large gatherings whether parades or a football game are held are also closely monitored by intelligence divisions like the one in Austin.

The Austin Regional Intelligence Center, which is funded by law enforcement agencies in Central Texas, was established in 2010 with more than a dozen staff including officers and detectives. The division receives about 30 suspicious reports a month, some of which have turned into full-fledged investigations.

KXAN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s