“Securing the Cities” aimed at detecting, preventing terrorist attacks that use radiological and nuclear materials


June 29, 2021 -- The City of Boston, in partnership with the US Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office (CWMD), regional law enforcement agencies, and first responder agencies announce the launch of the Securing the Cities (STC) program. This Program, funded by an initial five-year grant, will provide the greater Boston area with annual funding and non-monetary support to provide equipment, training and subject matter expertise to support the detection and interdiction of illicit radioactive material.

The goal of STC-Boston is to build local capacity to find and intercept radiological or nuclear material before it can be used in a terrorist attack.  This program does that by augmenting local resources with federal funding with the goal of detecting, deterring and defending against terror attacks that use radioactive material.  Working with public safety agencies throughout the region, STC-Boston will help the region build an enduring radiological detection network that integrates with other counter-terrorism initiatives already in place.

Law enforcement officers and first responders in the Metro-Boston region will begin receiving equipment and training designed to detect and interdict unregulated radiological materials that could be used as weapons.  The radiological detection equipment first responders will receive will not interfere with normal daily operations but will instead give them a means of detecting dangerous substances otherwise unknown to them.  Once detected, responders will be able to locate these materials and determine whether the radioactive source is a potential threat.

Boston joins many other cities including New York, Los Angeles/Long Beach, Chicago, Atlanta, New Orleans, Houston and the National Capital Region. Boston was selected through a process based on population, the area’s annual economic contribution, the presence of several hospitals, the amount of critical infrastructure in the area, and the region’s ongoing commitment to the detection and prevention of terrorism. 

The program will be administered by the City of Boston Police Department’s Office of Homeland Security, which serves as the regional coordinator and fiduciary agent for the grant program. Initial funding has already been delivered to the City and additional funding and equipment will arrive shortly.