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Protecting San Diego’s Port From Terrorism

Audio

Aired 5/24/10

The Department of Homeland Security says San Diego's port could be vulnerable to a terrorist attack But the city has received $1.3 million worth of detection equipment to help counter any threats.

The Department of Homeland Security says San Diego's port could be vulnerable to a terrorist attack. But the city has received $1.3 million worth of detection equipment to help counter any threats.

A new list from the state Water Resources Control Board shows several bodies of water in San Diego County are severely polluted, including parts of San Diego Bay.
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Above: A new list from the state Water Resources Control Board shows several bodies of water in San Diego County are severely polluted, including parts of San Diego Bay.

San Diego is in the middle of a pilot program to use portable devices that detect nuclear and radiological material brought into the city on small vessels. Donna Faller is with San Diego's Homeland Security Office. She said lifeguards, harbor police and the military are also being trained on how to react to potential threats.

"If you come across the border there's detection at the border. There's detection in the airports. But there's no detection coming waterside," she said.

Faller says that's a big problem because there's 95,000 miles of coastline on the West Coast. She says small vessels present a large potential risk because there are so many of them and they can move around with few restrictions.

San Diego was selected for the pilot program based on its commercial importance, military importance and its proximity to the international border among other reasons.

She says local agencies are conducting training exercises and have created protocols for responding to alarms. Faller says the agencies can keep the equipment and will continue training after the pilot program ends in December.

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