LAPD acquires new anti-terrorism technology
Police Chief William J. Bratton said a new suitcase-sized device for one of the LAPD's helicopters can detect "radiation signatures" from up to 800 feet above ground. In addition, the LAPD bought six hand-held units that officers on the ground can use.
"Terrorism is all about getting them before they get us," the chief said.
The devices are among several items the city acquired with $3 million in Homeland Security funds that will enable the LAPD to better respond to a terrorist attack or natural disaster, Bratton said.
Deputy Chief Mike Downing, head of the counter-terrorism bureau, said the equipment can read gamma rays given off by radiological weapons. Bratton on Friday said the threat from suicide bombers as demonstrated in Israel is real and that it's only a matter of time before an attempt is made on U.S. soil.
With that in mind, LAPD officials showed off a $900,000 Pierce bomb squad response truck equipped with a robot. The robot has been modified to address the threat of suicide bombers. Bomb squad officers can operate the robot from up to a mile away.
Since Bratton's appointment in 2002, the department has also acquired a firetruck-sized vehicle with a computer that will allow SWAT team officers to receive information about a suspect's criminal background within minutes and several B.E.A.R. and BearCat armored rescue vehicles.
The latest addition is a response truck for LAPD public information officers, which will serve as a mobile media hub.
"New York and Washington are still the biggest risks in the country," Bratton said. "We come right behind them because of the special assets we have: the port, the airport and just the symbolism of so much of what they hate. In their rush to get back into the 7th century again, 21st century Hollywood is not exactly where they want to be."
Bratton revealed Friday that Los Angeles may be on track to have fewer than 400 homicides this year for the first time since 1970.
Since Jan. 1, there have been 280 killings in the city, 53 fewer than at this time last year, down more than 15%, Bratton said
"Los Angeles stands a very good chance at the end of the year of having the lowest number of homicides since 1970 -- that's 37 years. This year we may end up with a total of about 400, down significantly from the over 600 that were occurring when I was appointed five years ago," Bratton said.
BS Ranch Perspective
I am glad that the Los Angeles Police Department has taken it upon themselves to upgrade their Anti-Terrorism Unit, and Equipment!! That is wonderful news, I just hope that more Southern California Law Enforcement Police Agencies take it upon themselves to add this kind of equipment to their budget as well. It is important, Especially right now, when the Democrats are threatening to take over the White House, they will remove the people from the Middle East, and Iraq, We will hear about how Iraq, will have another Well, developed weapons to defend themselves and fight against our military, when the time comes for them to come over to the USA to fight, or they may just not even do anything but collect money from the oil that they have and send their Combat Ready spy Cells, to infiltrate the cities, in the southern California area, and they might look to the smaller suburbs of Southern California area due to the story above, then they will quietly take a bomb in a back pack and stash it in a restaurant booth, where the have booths, with table cloths, suddenly the bomb goes off at lunch rush, and the new Democrat leadership will wonder if they did the right thing by pulling out of Iraq?? I guess it is then that the Question of Iraq will be answered to the fullest!!