In what appears to be a move in preparation of Terminator II’s “judgment day,” Los Angeles will soon get an invisible nuclear halo detection system.
On Monday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti joined with the Department of Homeland Security’s Domestic Nuclear Detection Office and the Los Angeles/Long Beach Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) Approval Authority members to announce $11.4 million in federal funds for a regional nuclear and radiological detection system.
“My primary mission is to keep Los Angeles safe. We must be prepared for every contingency,” Mayor Garcetti said. “By creating a detection halo around our region, we’ll get an early warning of threats which will accelerate response times and could help stop an attack before it begins.”
Known as the “Securing the Cities” program, the grant will be used to purchase equipment to create a nuclear and radiological detection ring around the L.A. area. The grant will also create the Southern California Radiological Intake Center which will collect and analyze data and coordinate a regional response. The center will be located in the Los Angeles Emergency Operations Center. The LA/Long Beach region may be awarded up to $30 million for the program over the next five years.
Several public agencies will collaborate on the implementation of the detection system including Garcetti’s office; the Los Angeles Fire and Police departments, as well as the Airport and Harbor police; the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s, Fire and Public Health departments; Long Beach police; Orange County Sheriff’s Department; and California Highway Patrol.
“Together, we will expand our regional capabilities to detect and interdict illicit radiological nuclear materials,” said Dr. Huban Gowadia, director of the U.S. Domestic Nuclear Detection Office. “The program will allow us to better support and unite efforts that are already underway, increasing cooperation and coordination across federal, state and local agencies.”
“This is the first time [the program has] been put out as a competitive grant to numerous cities, but L.A. was the one awarded the grant,” stated Vicki Curry, Associate Director of Communications for Mayor Garcetti.
According to LA Magazine, a nuclear halo program of this nature has already been piloted in the New York/New Jersey area.
“The Securing the Cities program will allow us to better support and unite efforts already underway, increasing cooperation and coordination across federal, state, and local agencies,” said Gowadia.