D.C. Metro to receive DHS grants

Posted on September 11, 2009

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) will receive $78.3 million in grants from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to enhance the security of the Metro system, its riders and employees.


Grants will fund a variety of projects, including additional police officers and explosive-detecting dogs, surveillance cameras, bus garage security, chemical detection, radio communications and emergency training for employees.


Approximately $11 million will fund 25 new positions for the Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD), including three explosive detecting canine teams, 20 additional officers to form new anti-terrorism teams, a bomb response liaison officer and an intelligence analyst.


Metro will use about $27.8 million of the grant monies for surveillance cameras on railcars and buses, at Metrorail station entrances, and at select subway ventilation shafts and entrance portals. About $7 million will be used to design and install a video monitoring system on railcars, while another $6.4 million will fund cameras on buses and $2.8 million will pay for exterior surveillance cameras at each of Metro’s 153 station entrances. A surveillance camera system at ventilation shafts and entrance portals will cost about $11.5 million.


Additional security enhancements to be funded through DHS grants include $6.5 million to improve gates at the ends of station platforms to prevent people from entering the tunnels and $6.2 million to train frontline operations employees on their individual roles and responsibilities during the first 15 minutes of an incident.


The federal funding comes from a variety of DHS grant programs including the National Explosives Detection Canine Team Program, State Homeland Security Program, Transit Security Grant Program and Urban Area Security Initiative.


The list of the grants and the projects they will fund can be found on Metro’s Website at http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/board_of_directors/board_docs/091009_3CSafetySecurityProjects.pdf.


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