Sunday, May 23, 2010

DHS bureaucrats stiff NYPD on plans to stop 'dirty bomb'

NYPD officials are frustrated with the Department of Homeland Security’s delay in releasing funds that the Finest badly need for the prevention of a “dirty bomb” attack.

The Police Department said it has been trying since last fall to obtain an $8 million federal grant for a radiation detection system, which would instantly read data from 4,500 sensors in cop cars across the region to intercept vehicles carrying explosive devices.

“There are bureaucratic hurdles and delays between the time you apply for the money, and when you actually get to use it,” said Jessica Tisch, policy and planning director in the NYPD counter-terrorism bureau.

The money to set up the radiation-reading system in a Lower Manhattan command center would come from funds allocated in 2008 for the “Securing the Cities” program. It took the feds five months to respond to the November request, and only to ask for more information.

After inquiries by The Post on Friday, a Homeland Security spokeswoman said the department now has all the information it needs, and the project “will be approved in the near future.”

That news stunned NYPD officials anxiously awaiting a go-ahead.

“Amazing,” Tisch said when informed by a reporter. ”We have our plans in place and the last step was getting the money so we can convert it into real security for the city.”