Las Vegas expected to approve grants to fight bioterror

Las Vegas' County Commission is expected to beef up its security against potential biothreats, approving several agenda items that will allow it to better combat biothreats.

One proposed $90,000 grant will be used in the purchase of equipment for decontamination of people or areas that have been exposed to hazardous biological, chemical or radiological material. This grant will purchase a decontamination trailer, ATV and hazardous materials manuals.

The Rand Corp., in a 2007 study, ranked Las Vegas as the ninth most likely terrorist target though the federal government does not list the city among its top tier targets. That lack of a federal government ranking means that the city is not eligible for as much money to combat terrorism as higher tier targets such as New York.

Las Vegas does, however, have ties to five of the September 11 terrorists, including leader Mohamed Atta. Those five terrorists all visited the city, though it has remained quiet in regards to terrorism since that time with experts questioning how likely of a target the city is for terrorists.

The County Commission is also expected to approve grants to buy equipment to detection radiation and to create a "Citizens Corps."

The $506,000 total in grants will come from the federal Urban Area Security Initiative.