JOPLIN, Mo. — Saturday marks 20 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, something that means many things to many people.
That meant both a short-term and long-term impact for a local police chief’s career.
Sloan Rowland says he realized immediately that what happened at the Twin Towers was a terrorist attack.
“I received a call probably about 45 minutes in from my commander, my military commander, and then by an hour and a half later I was on the road,” said Sloan Rowland, Joplin Police Chief.
Leaving Four State law enforcement behind, tapping into more than a dozen years of military service.
“I don’t think the United States the military or anybody was quite prepared for what happened. So I ended up doing a year in Central and South America working counterterrorism force protection for NCIS, and it was unique, it was kind of a learning experience because we were kind of inventing the program as we as we moved along,” said Rowland.
Sloan calls it a whirlwind experience.
“The complexity of the attack on 911 and the amount of lives that were lost and what took place I think kind of shocked that nation as a whole. It was it was a wake up call,” said Rowland.
He says he had no idea of the places he would go and the things he would do, helping to protect the nation.
“I worked counterterrorism force protection and I worked a lot with the Office of Military Commissions for the detainees at Guantanamo and I was a point as a Special Investigator for the Office of the Secretary of Defense for the tribunals for the those detainees going to trial in Guantanamo, so I spent a lot of time in the Intel side, and the prosecution side for the tribunals,” said Rowland.
Rowland has since retired from his military service, but adds he’ll never forget the importance of information… and sharing it.
“It could be the smallest thing that could give us information we need to thwart a terrorist attack,” said Rowland.