DHS expands DNDO 'Securing the Cities' detection program
Port of Long Beach
The Los Angeles/Long Beach area will use $1.5 million in grant money to expand efforts aimed at detecting and responding to nuclear and biological threats.
As part of DHS Domestic Nuclear Detection Office’s (DNDO) "Securing the Cities" (STC) program, the Los Angeles/Long Beach area will receive a direct grant of $1 million and an additional $500,000 in training support. The area will be eligible to receive additional funding pending congressional appropriations to build a region-wide, robust nuclear detection capability, said DHS on Oct. 15.
DNDO’s STC program is designed to enhance the ability to detect and prevent a radiological or nuclear attack in cities facing the highest risk.
The Los Angeles/Long Beach expansion, said DHS, is the first since STC began in 2006 as a pilot project for the New York City region, providing equipment, tools and training through cooperative agreements to the New York Police Department. The NYPD, in turn, distributes grant money to other participating agencies. STC has provided more than 8,500 pieces of detection equipment, trained nearly 13,000 personnel, and conducted more than a hundred drills, according to the agency.
“Countering chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats requires a coordinated, whole-of-government approach,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. “The Securing the Cities program is a key component of the Department’s efforts to protect our nation by enhancing our ability to detect and interdict illicit radiological and nuclear weapons or materials in major metropolitan areas.”
Under the STC program, DNDO will partner with the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s office to develop a regional structure of law enforcement and first responder organizations to identify, prevent and respond to potential nuclear or radiological threats, said DHS.
DNDO will also assist regional partners in conducting training and exercises to further their nuclear detection capabilities and coordinate these with federal operations, said the agency. Initial efforts in the Los Angeles/Long Beach area will focus on meeting the immediate needs of state and local agencies to develop baseline nuclear detection and reporting capabilities, including equipment and training, it said.