New Radiation Detection Devices in Montgomery County

By Chris Gordon
|  Monday, Sep 10, 2012  |  Updated 6:47 PM EDT
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Montgomery County police purchased about 40 new, small radiation detection devices for officers.

Chris Gordon

Montgomery County police purchased about 40 new, small radiation detection devices for officers.

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In light of the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, some Metro stops in the D.C. area will have extra security Tuesday.

“We know that commuter rail stations have been a popular terrorist target worldwide,” police spokesperson Lucille Baur said. “Our initiatives this week have nothing to do with an identified threat. It’s all about being proactive.”

The Montgomery County Police Department is rolling out a new radiation detection device. Sgt. Kevin Parker, of Montgomery County Police Emergency Services, wears the device like a cellphone on his belt. A hit causes lights to flash and a vibration or audio signal.

“The type of radiation we’re trying to detect is the type of radiation that would be seen as the ideal ingredient for a weapon of mass destruction -- a dirty bomb -- one of the ingredients that the terrorist would like to use,” he said.

Police bought about 40 of the radiation detection devices.

Another device can help officers determine exactly what the substance is, Montgomery County police Officer Chris Bohrer said.

“If there’s a question about the substance, that information can be sent to a lab and it can be checked right from this device,” he said.

Meanwhile, riders likely have no idea they are being screened for radiation.

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