Sandia to provide one-stop terrorism readiness help to communities through NIJ virtual center
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Government and business officials responsible for safeguarding their communities or companies against the threat of a terrorist attack now can visit a virtual information booth for advice on ways to improve security against terrorism and provide facilities with features that could mitigate an attack while it is occurring.
The National Institute of Justice's Center for Civil Force Protection (CCFP) at Sandia National Laboratories can provide objective information about and assistance in:
Sandia, headquartered in Albuquerque, is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory with decades of experience in physical security and counterterrorism technology.
- Methods of "hardening" buildings or other structures against attack
- Technology for detecting and mitigating explosives or chem-bio warfare agents
- Vulnerability and consequence assessments of a facility's physical security
- Consulting and training to improve security against terrorism
- Finding other organizations that provide terrorism preparedness
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research arm of the Department of Justice, asked Sandia to establish the CCFP to provide a means whereby state and local law enforcement agencies could access this type of expertise, which is generally not available to them.
The recent arrest of an individual caught attempting to smuggle explosives into the United States from Canada is just one example that highlights the continuing terrorist threat to this country, says Gordon Smith, Sandia's CCFP program manager. Through increased federal funding in recent years, the nation's first responders have been trained and equipped to better respond to future incidents. But there is a continued need to improve the security and self-protective measures of government and private-industry facilities that are desirable terrorist targets, including high-profile buildings and infrastructures such as the electric power grid and telecommunication systems, before an attack occurs, he says.
Through the virtual center, Sandia will draw on its counterterrorism work for federal agencies such as the Department of Defense and DOE and refer callers to agencies or companies with the specific expertise needed. Sandia also will draw on the facilities and capabilities of the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) established by NIJ's Office of Science and Technology. The NLECTC system offers support, research findings, and technology expertise to help state and local law enforcement and corrections personnel do their jobs more safely and efficiently. There are nine centers within the NLECTC system. (http://www.nlectc.org)
As the lead DOE lab for protecting U.S. nuclear weapons materials and facilities, Sandia has nationally recognized expertise in physical security technologies and approaches, security vulnerability assessments of government and private facilities, building bomb and sabotage resistance, remote bomb-disablement technology, security and law enforcement product evaluation, school security, and more. (See web links at the end of this release for more information.)
"Sandia is capitalizing on the investment this nation has made over the years in protecting its nuclear assets from terrorists by making its security expertise available to governments, communities, and companies," says Smith.
Because the lab is a federally funded institution, callers can depend on the CCFP hot line for objective, independent, and confidential assistance with their security vulnerabilities and problems, he adds.
The CCFP can help law enforcement officials, state and local government officials, public safety officials, company officials, school administrators, church leaders, community center directors, and others. (Although most CCFP advisement is free, there may be fees or in-kind contributions associated with certain long-term services.)
More information about Sandia antiterrorism work can be found at the sites below:
Resistance of buildings:
Protection of critical infrastructures:
School security consulting:
Independent technology evaluation:
Chem-bio agent detection:
Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company, for the United States Department of Energy under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major research and development responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.
John German, email@example.com, (505) 844-5199