Los Angeles and neighboring Long Beach are set to receive support from a federal program for detecting nuclear or radiological weapons materials, the Homeland Security Department said on Monday.
The jurisdiction is slated to receive $1 million under the Securing the Cities initiative and half that amount to further support preparation of personnel. Lawmakers could establish a separate budget aimed at creating an effective atomic sensor capacity across the area, according to a DHS press release.
“Countering chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats requires a coordinated, whole-of-government approach,” Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said in the statement. “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.”
Establishing a system of area police and emergency crew groups to spot, avert and react to possible atomic or radioactive dangers is the goal of a planned collaborative effort by the DHS Domestic Nuclear Detection Office and the Los Angeles mayor's administration. Supporting entities in the vicinity would receive DNDO aid for carrying out atomic scanning drills and related preparations, and in meshing the efforts with activities by national authorities.
The program's first area activities would focus on supplying state and jurisdictional authorities with technology, worker education and other short-term requirements for creating foundational atomic sensor and alert capacities.
The federal initiative, which originated in 2006, has distributed over 8,500 sensor system components, provided preparatory assistance to more than 13,000 emergency workers and facilitated over 100 drills in New York City and neighboring jurisdictions. The New York Police Department allocates program grants for the effort to other local participating entities.