WASHINGTON - The Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office (CWMD) Acting Assistant Secretary Gary Rasicot traveled to San Francisco, California, last week to attend meetings with state and local public health officials, law enforcement, and first responders from two of CWMD’s signature programs: BioWatch and Securing the Cities (STC).
“Keeping our communities safe is this Office’s number one priority. Our signature programs, Securing the Cities and BioWatch, help ensure threats are detected early, so first responders can act quickly,” said Acting Assistant Secretary Gary Rasicot. “The City of San Francisco should be very proud of their first responders. They are doing all they can do, leveraging all available federal support, to make sure the citizens of this region are protected and that the first responders are prepared to respond to any incidents that may occur.”
On Tuesday, Acting Assistant Secretary Rasicot attended CWMD’s semi-annual STC meeting, which brought together the program managers from each STC region to share best practices and trends with one another. The STC Program is designed to prevent radiological or nuclear terrorist attacks in high-risk urban areas. CWMD provides training, equipment, specialized expertise, and grant funding to STC jurisdictions in more than a dozen major cities in America.
In addition to participating in the STC Program, San Francisco also operates a BioWatch Program. On Monday, Acting Assistant Secretary Rasicot met with public health officials from across the San Francisco Bay Area to discuss the status of the BioWatch program. BioWatch gives warning of an airborne bioterrorist attack. CWMD leads the program in over 30 metropolitan areas across the United States, and while it is an integrated biodefense network that is federally funded and managed, it is locally operated.
CWMD continues to support our communities and keep them safe by serving as DHS’s focal point for countering weapons of mass destruction. By supporting operational partners across federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial levels, CWMD coordinates DHS efforts to safeguard the United States against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats.