Yesterday I was joined by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner to announce the launch of the Securing the Cities Program in Houston. This program assists metropolitan areas in building and establishing sustainable programs to detect, interdict, and report on nuclear and other radioactive materials that are out of regulatory control.
Over the course of the 5-year program, DNDO will provide funding and support for the planning, equipment, training, and exercise assistance to partners in the Houston area. Securing the Cities allows for the purchase of state-of-the-art commercial equipment and technology, including radiation devices, radioisotope identification devices, backpack detectors, and mobile systems. The equipment provides a robust radiation detection capability, augmenting efforts already underway and increasing cooperation and coordination across federal, state, and local agencies.
In 2006, the Securing the Cities program was initiated in the New York City, Jersey City, and Newark region as a pilot and later expanded to the Los Angeles/Long Beach and the Washington DC areas. Houston is the fourth city to implement the program and DNDO intends to expand the program to the Chicago area later in 2016.
The Securing the Cities program is possible because of the hard work and support of our federal, state, and local partners. In addition to Mayor Sylvester Turner, we were honored to be joined at the launch event by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, Representative Al Green, staff from other Representatives’ offices, and partners from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Houston Police Department, Houston Fire Department, Houston Office of Emergency Management, Pasadena Police Department, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Harris County Office of Emergency Management, Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office, Galveston County Sheriff’s Office, and Galveston County Office of Emergency Management.
Collaboration between DNDO and local agencies in the Houston area will help to further secure the region. We look forward to working together to enhance the regional capabilities and continuing these valuable partnerships with Houston.