Editor’s note: In the video report Florence Mayor Keith Ore was inadvertently identified as City Manager Michael Patterson and vice-versa.
FLORENCE, Colo. (CBS4) – President Barack Obama’s plan to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center and possibly move some of the detainees to Colorado has some people in the state very upset.
Federal government officials toured the Supermax prison near the town of Florence recently, and Tuesday night presidential candidate Hillary Clinton mentioned that Colorado is already housing some terrorists.
“It takes a little town like this and brings it to the spotlight of everything; really that isn’t what we want,” Florence Mayor Keith Ore said.
“We’ve had some concerns about, not only the terrorists side of it, you know, people trying to break them out; but the flipside of that, which is people who are so upset about terrorists being there that they want to take matters into their own hands,” Florence City Manager Michael Patterson said.
Florence is just a stone’s throw from the federal prison.
“It’s just a small, great little town … to bring all the detainees into here on U.S. soil like that is something we really don’t want,” Ore said.
The entire police department in Florence consists of 12 officers. Ore told CBS4’s Matt Kroschel that if the feds are going to be bringing detainees to Supermax, he’s going to want the federal government to foot the bill for more training.
But not everyone living there is really that concerned.
“You’re concerned for some of the law enforcement and people like that, but (not) as far as the general public,” a Florence resident said.
“Not only are you going to bring the detainees, but what other people are you going to bring that maybe want to try to get them out of this Supermax and all kinds of terrorist situations like that?” Ore said.
It is yet to be seen if the president will in fact choose one of the federal prisons in Colorado. Four of a short list of 13 nationwide are within a few miles of Florence.