WASHINGTON - The Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office (CWMD) Acting Assistant Secretary Gary Rasicot traveled to Seattle, WA, this week to attend meetings with state and local public health officials, law enforcement, and first responders from three of CWMD’s signature programs: BioWatch, the Radiation Portal Monitor (RPM) Enterprise, and Securing the Cities (STC).
“Keeping our communities safe is this Office’s number one priority. CWMD programs like Securing the Cities and BioWatch help ensure threats are detected early, so first responders can act quickly,” said Acting Assistant Secretary Gary Rasicot. “Our partners in Seattle are leading the way, leveraging all available federal support, to equip their first responders with everything they need – from training and equipment to operational support – to keep their residents safe from any threats that may occur.”
On Tuesday, December 6, Acting Assistant Secretary Rasicot visited the Port of Seattle, where he was hosted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Seattle Field Office Director Brian Humphrey and his team. CWMD and CBP partner to keep dangerous weapons and materials out of the United States by employing and operating technology such as Radiation Portal Monitors at the border.
On Wednesday, December 7, the Acting Assistant Secretary met with local leaders from CWMD’s Seattle-based signature biosurveillance program, BioWatch. The local Seattle BioWatch Advisory Committee Co-Chairs and members attended the meeting along with the BioWatch field and laboratory leads. During the meeting, they discussed the status of the program and how CWMD can continue to best support them in their efforts to keep their communities safe.
CWMD’s BioWatch Program gives warning of an airborne bioterrorist attack. While it is an integrated biodefense network that is federally funded and managed, it is locally operated. CWMD leads the program in over 30 metropolitan areas across the United States.
Mr. Rasicot also visited the Seattle Securing the Cities where he met with a Seattle Police Department Assistant Chief of Police and other local leaders and received a briefing from the Seattle STC leadership.
The STC Program is designed to prevent radiological or nuclear terrorist attacks in high-risk urban areas through a cooperative agreement grant process with eligible U.S. regions. CWMD provides training, equipment, specialized expertise, and grant funding to STC jurisdictions in more than a dozen major cities in America.
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.