Premier's office to review security measures after airport scare
Wednesday, April 18, 2007 8:45 AM
The Premier's office is "reassessing" Ewart Brown's security needs following a scare at the airport on Monday.
As first reported on our website on Monday night, Dr. Brown was approached by a man who walked up to him while he was sat listening to tributes to Frederick Wade.
He shook his hand and told him he loved him before press secretary Scott Simmons and Chief of Staff Wayne Caines intervened.
The man, who was wearing thick glasses, a cap, denim jacket and jeans, was later found to have box cutters in his possession. The item had a screwdriver handle with a one-inch scalpel blade.
Dr. Brown didn't appear bothered and later said he thought the man was "mentally ill."
No threats were made.
Yesterday Mr. Caines told us: "Based on what transpired on Monday night we are going to reassess the Premier's security needs."
He said police have the man's name and that the Special Branch is looking into it.
Mr. Caines also took the opportunity to set the record straight about Dr. Brown's use of police escorts, which he said has happened about twice since he became leader late last year.
He said: "Since Dr. Brown has been elevated to Premier of Bermuda he has used GP1 for hundreds of official engagements; most recently he has used a police escort twice - it is only used in very rare and exceptional circumstances."
Asked what those were, Mr. Caines said he couldn't tell us for "security reasons."
Earlier this year police had to be called to the Cabinet Building, where the premier has his office, to remove a drunk who kept demanding to see the premier. Monday's incident has reignited talk of the need for a bodyguard.
Mr. Simmons, Dr. Brown's press secretary, said the last thing the Premier wants to do is to have people think he is distancing himself from them, but security is a real issue that has to be addressed.