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Secret Service Searching For More Security Measures For NATO, City To Deploy LRAD

By aaroncynic in News on Apr 16, 2012 4:40PM


In addition to the local security measures and related purchases the city has made in recent months in the build up to the May NATO summit, the Secret Service is now seeking a vendor to handle “coordination and management services” for the summit.

Government Security News reported last Thursday the Secret Service issued a request for proposal (RFP) calling for a “major event planner” who “can deliver, install and maintain a wide range of physical security equipment.” So far, Crain's reports four firms have expressed interest.

The materials included on the security plan issued by the Secret Service, some of which they will provide, include:

  • Road side concrete barriers

  • Anti-scaling fencing

  • Portable light towers

  • Portable vehicle barriers

  • Sand bags, tents, portable toilets, generators and other equipment

Bids are due April 24th.

Along with what sounds like a portable military complex, ABC7 reports the city has an Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) on hand it plans to deploy at the summit. The LRAD is a “less than lethal” crowd control weapon which can be used to give orders over long distances, but also can emit a sound that can incapacitate anyone within a thousand feet of the targeted direction. After the device was deployed by American troops in Iraq in 2004, Carl Gruenler of American Technology Corporation (now LRAD Corporation), who developed the weapon said “you definitely don't want to be” within 300 or so feet of the device. Prolonged exposure can lead to permanent hearing loss. Chicago police say they intend to use it as a “communications tool,” and have been training with the Pittsburgh police on its use in crowd control.

The 2009 G20 summit in Pittsburgh was the first time an LRAD has been used on American protesters. Last year, the device was used on demonstrators at Occupy Oakland, and kept on hand by both the NYPD and Boston Police Department during the clearing of Occupy encampments. The city of Pittsburgh is currently involved in a lawsuit brought by the ACLU on behalf of a bystander who reportedly suffered permanent nerve damage and developed tinnitus after the G20 summit in 2009.