DENVER — On June 7, 2023, DHS Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office (CWMD) Acting Assistant Secretary Gary Rasicot participated in a tabletop exercise designed to help Denver emergency management, law enforcement, emergency response, and public health officials prepare to respond to a radiological or nuclear (R/N) threat. The exercise was held as part of Denver's participation in the DHS CWMD Securing the Cities (STC) program, which provides equipment, training, and expertise to 13 designated urban areas to enhance preventative R/N detection and preparedness. This coordination is a standard element of the STC program and not in response to any specific threat.
"We are grateful for the City of Denver's partnership in our critical mission to protect Americans from radiological and nuclear threats," said Acting Assistant Secretary Rasicot. "Denver should be proud of how dedicated their first responders are to obtaining and using every bit of assistance available to protect their city and safeguard their people."
The lead agency for the Denver STC program is the Office of Emergency Management (OEM). The Colorado State Patrol, the Denver Police Department, the Denver Fire Department, City and County of Denver Department of Public Health and Environment, and the Denver Health Paramedic Division also participated in this tabletop exercise.
"The exercise brought together the critical partners needed to ensure Denver is ready to respond to domestic radiological and nuclear threats," said Denver OEM Executive Manager Matthew Mueller. "The STC program has really moved the needle in the Denver's radiological and nuclear preparedness efforts."
CWMD's STC program enhances the nation's ability to detect and prevent terrorist attacks and other high-consequence events using nuclear or other radiological materials in high-risk urban areas. DHS initiated STC in 2007 as a pilot program to support major metropolitan areas acquire and train their public safety officers in the use of R/N detection equipment. The Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 2018 amended the Homeland Security Act of 2002, expanding the reach and depth of this program to enhance the ability of the United States to detect and prevent terrorist attacks and other high-consequence events utilizing R/N materials. Denver has participated in the STC program since 2020.
CWMD serves as the Department of Homeland Security's focal point for countering weapons of mass destruction efforts. 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.