On Apr 18, 2022, the DHS Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office (CWMD) assisted state and local law enforcement with protecting Boston Marathon participants and observers. A CWMD Mobile Detection Deployment Unit (MDDU) assisted the Boston Police Department and other first responder agencies by monitoring for potentially harmful radiological, nuclear, and chemical agents. This support was requested as a precautionary measure and not in response to any specific threat.
CWMD MDDUs provide surge support to supplement the existing capabilities of law enforcement and public safety agencies. This support is often requested by local authorities to enhance security leading up to special events such as concerts, music festivals, major sporting events, and other mass gatherings. These units have extensive equipment designed to detect the release of harmful radiological/nuclear, chemical, or biological agents before or during these events.
“Providing equipment and training to state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement and first responders better prepares them to protect the nation from weapons of mass destruction. This is one of CWMD’s primary functions,” said Gary Rasicot, acting Assistant Secretary for CWMD. “The Boston Marathon has a storied history that is significant to the City of Boston and the entire country. We are proud to assist with keeping this event safe for all.”
The Boston Marathon stretches 26.2 miles from Hopkinton, MA, to the downtown Boston area. This year’s event drew a crowd nearing 1 million people, with a participant field of approximately 30,000 athletes.
CWMD serves as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s focal point for countering weapons of mass destruction efforts. By supporting operational partners across federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial levels, CWMD coordinates DHS efforts to safeguard the United States against chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and health security threats.