Law Enforcement Agencies Work Together for Nuclear Security


security.jpg?w=194A security officer at the Harris Nuclear Plant inspects a vehicle at the plant's checkpoint.

During Local Law Enforcement Agency Day hosted by the Harris Plant, various local, state and federal law enforcement agencies share information on emergency preparedness, nuclear security technical upgrades and Department of Homeland Security initiatives. The day concludes with a tour of the plant's owner-controlled area where the visiting officers get to see some nuclear security measures first-hand.

Participants come from local police, fire and sheriff's departments; as well as from state and federal agencies, including the N.C. Highway Patrol, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, State/Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Guard, Department of Homeland Security, and Federal Aviation Administration.

Although the Harris Nuclear Plant's security organization, like security teams at all Duke Energy and U.S. nuclear stations, is always fully staffed to protect plant assets 24/7, it's crucial to be able to call on additional support when needed.

Nuclear security teams can request assistance for incidents such as trespassing, facilitating traffic in the event of a site emergency, and responding to an outside security threat.

A good example of this support was a bomb threat that occurred several years ago at the Harris Plant's vehicle access checkpoint. The sheriff's office took the lead and coordinated the response with local police explosives experts to investigate the possible threat. The sheriff's office stopped traffic and communicated with the appropriate agencies, including Harris Security, until they were able to determine the area was safe and clear.

"Our local law enforcement day is a great opportunity to build better relationships," says senior nuclear security specialist Jason Blackmon. "More important, this interaction helps all of us understand how we would interface in the event of a security threat."

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