NYPD to share $18 million federal grant to spot dirty bombs. Rep. Pete King says there's concern the next attack on city may come from the suburbs

Sep 1, 2012 Issues: Risk-Based Grant Funding

Grant pays for detectors along roads and waterways and early warning system for attacks

NY Daily News -- by Joseph Straw 

WASHINGTON — The NYPD will share an $18 million federal grant to help spot so-called dirty bombs and other radiological threats across the region, a source told the Daily News.

The award falls under a Homeland Security program called Securing the Cities that pays for thousands of radiation detectors in the city and suburbs.

“It’s a program we’ve had to fight hard for but it’s worth it, because we are very concerned that the next attack on the city is going to come from the suburbs,” Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.) said.

The new grant brings total regional funding to nearly $104 million. It pays for detectors along streets, highways and waterways, and mobile units carried by cops that are linked to commanders via wireless signals — an early warning system for attacks.

King cited transit bombings targeting Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005 that were staged outside the city centers.

A dirty bomb does not cause a nuclear explosion, but instead uses a traditional bomb to disperse radioactive material.

An attack might kill an injure a small number of people, but could leave large areas of the city uninhabitable for years or decades, inflicting a heavy economic and psychological toll.