DHS Adds Houston, Chicago to DNDO Program

September 14, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) added two cities to its Domestic Nuclear Detection Office’s (DNDO) Securing the Cities program, an effort to increase the nation’s capabilities to detect and protect against radiological and nuclear threats. Officials on Monday announced the addition of Houston and Chicago to the program.

“The Securing the Cities program is a key part of the department’s effort to protect the nation against the malicious use of nuclear and other radioactive materials,” Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson says in a statement. “Expanding this program to Houston and Chicago will bring these important capabilities to two more of our country’s largest metropolitan areas.”

Regions of the country selected for program inclusion receive up to $30 million over five years, money that helps pay for the building of nuclear detection capabilities for law enforcement and first response organizations, according to a news release. DNDO provides equipment and means for training and exercises.

Work in Houston will begin before the end the current fiscal year on September 30. The DHS will begin work in Chicago in subsequent years, subject to the availability of funding, though no date has been announced. The program began in 2006 for the New York City/Jersey City/Newark region and expanded to the Los Angeles/Long Beach region in 2012 and the Washington, D.C., region in 2014. The DHS has aims to expand the program to other major metropolitan areas in the coming years.

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