Pittsburgh is defending against river-borne terrorism in a federally funded upgrade of its aquatic security capabilities driven in part by the scheduled Major League Baseball All-Star Game, says the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The city is buying a high-powered airboat and advanced sonar equipment. It’s putting eight employees through rigorous underwater hazard search training. Four police officers started scuba training yesterday; another five officers who have some diving training will join them later in the course. Four of those nine officers, plus four paramedics, will get advanced underwater hazard detection training later.
A 13-county anti-terrorism task force, funded by the Department of Homeland Security, will pay for the training. A sonar scanner, boat, and some underwater video and communications equipment will cost $188,000. A federal port security grant will cover the cost.