The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) will improve its protection of riders and employees against improvised explosive devices as a result of a grant that will help provide new equipment and training and allow for participation in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Electronic Countermeasures system.
Metro’s Finance and Administration Committee preliminarily endorsed amending Metro’s 2011 capital budget to include the $351,000 Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grant and authorized Metro to initiate and award a contract to purchase and install the equipment to support the electronic countermeasures system.
The full Metro board of directors will vote on the measure at its Nov. 18 meeting.
The specialized equipment will enable the Metro Transit Police Department bomb squad to jam the radio signals of remote controlled improvised explosive devices.
The UASI grant will fund the equipment, maintenance contracts and training for members of the Transit Police bomb squad. Electronic countermeasures equipment includes two complete systems each with a vehicle-mounted jammer and portable jammer, two vehicles and two integration kits.
In addition to use by its own bomb squad, Metro plans to make the equipment available to other accredited regional bomb squads, therefore aiding the region in responding to and mitigating improvised explosive devices.