Radiological detection tested in marine terror drill off Long Island

Kristin Thorne Image
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Radiological detection tested in marine terror drill off Long Island
EMBED <>More Videos

Kristin Thorne reports on the recent military drill to detect radiological activity.

STONY BROOK, Long Island (WABC) -- Fighting terror is an ongoing endeavor across the Tri-State Area, and on Thursday, more than 20 police agencies conducted a full-scale terror exercise on Long Island.

It's called Operation Blue Trident, and Eyewitness News got a look at the new terror-fighting equipment law enforcement is now using on the water.

It was like a scavenger hunt, but an important one, as more than 100 marine officers attempted to locate real radiological materials using a detection device.

"Some of the sources we are using today are what would be readily available for terrorists," Department of Environmental Conservation Police Officer Scott Daly said. "We have them hidden on boats that we have chartered from private companies."

At the command center at Stony Brook University's Southampton campus, they knew exactly which boats out in Gardiner's Bay were carrying the radiological materials. The people out on the water training, though, did not.

"If, worst case scenario, there is a terrorist who plans to bring some type of radioactive material toward New York City, we would have the capability to prevent that from happening," Daly said.

The operation consisted of officers from 23 local, state and federal agencies.

"NYPD designed this," DEC Police Major Mike St. Jeanos said. "Initially, it was done around the entrances to New York City. We've tried to push this out further away from the city to likely approaches."

Every boat out on the water around Gardiner's Bay will be scanned for radioactive materials during the two-day training session.

"They won't even know it's happening," St. Jeanos said. "It's a passive collection sensor."

It's something officials would like to do at least once a year and perhaps as frequently as once a month.

"The East End serves as a gateway to the greater Metropolitan area, so it's really going to increase the safety all the way through into the city," said John Andrejack, with the East End Marine Task Force.