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Regional Drill Tests Radiation Response

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NEW YORK (AP) _ A vehicle carrying a “radioactive source” was stopped by law enforcement 12 times on an interstate parkway Tuesday and never made it into New York City during a tri-state training drill to prepare for a “dirty bomb” attack, police said.

The drill, which is scheduled to run through Saturday, involves hundreds of personnel from 150 law enforcement and other first responder agencies. It is being conducted on land, including rail hubs and highways, and on the waterways.
New York City police spokesman Paul Browne said the NYPD and other agencies from around the city, New Jersey, Connecticut and upstate Rockland County successfully located all 17 sources of radioactivity.

He said in an e-mail that four “real-world” radiation sources that were not connected to the drill were identified, “three of them generated by individuals who had recently undergone medical treatment.”
Brown said Tuesday’s exercises also included the identification and apprehension of people carrying radiological materials at Pennsylvania Station, at a subway station near Macy’s and at a subway transit booth at Columbus Circle.

A Connecticut state trooper who was not involved in the drill stopped a participant in the exercise using a radiation detection device, Browne said.

The drill began outside the United Nations with a police mobilization Tuesday morning. It ended at about 4 p.m.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said more than 400 checkpoints throughout the region would be manned by law enforcement agencies during the drill. He said the public could expect to see increased law enforcement activity, including on roadways and in transit hubs.

Increased police presence will be visible between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Macombs Dam Bridge, the 138th Street Bridge, the 225th Street Bridge, the 155th Street Bridge and the Third Avenue Bridge.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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