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Published March 02, 2012, 05:37 PM

Alerus Center Tightens Security for Clinton Visit

GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - The Alerus Center is tightening security for former President Bill Clinton's arrival in two weeks.

GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - The Alerus Center is tightening security for former President Bill Clinton's arrival in two weeks.

Checking lines, bringing in metal detectors, and routine security sweeps will all become a thing of the norm due to the former President's appearance at the Democratic State Convention.

"Preparation is the key," said Alerus Executive Director Cheryl Swanson.

Preparation and lots of it. That's what will keep workers at the Alerus Center very busy for the next two weeks, but the most important item on the list, is security.

"First and foremost is always safety and security of the visitor whether it be a concert or a past president and our patrons, the people that attend the building, that is our number one priority," said Swanson.

"We just treat it like any other day we just might have a little extra layer of security but otherwise just another busy day at the Alerus center," said Alerus Director of Operations, Jeremy Linstad.

Those preparing will use security plans from 2008, back when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton visted.

"We'll use that to go from, dust off some of those plans and make changes where need be," said Linstad.

The convention is expected to be a sell out. So, in two weeks, local law enforcement and the secret service will roam these halls to make sure the former President is under safe watch.

"I think there will be a collaboration of our resources and their resources," Swanson.

But with the brunt falling on Clinton's security. When Clinton visited during the flood of '97, he rallied likelihood of many Grand Forks residents and is expected to do the same this time.

"He spans party lines, I don't think its about whether you're republican or democrat. He's just a popular, popular individual," said Swanson.

Clinton is the keynote speaker for the convention and is expected to speak Saturday, March 17.

This is the first time the Alerus Center has hosted a former President.

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