City will add high-tech security gear to 'living room'
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City will add high-tech security gear to 'living room'

The Oregonian | August 18, 2005

Big Brother -- as in cameras and security equipment -- seems to be everywhere in these post-9/11 days. Now, Pioneer Courthouse Square is bracing for his arrival. Steve Janik, in his final meeting as president of the nonprofit square's board of trustees, announced a $50,000 state grant "for certain public spaces that may be vulnerable to terrorist attacks."

Oregon Office of Homeland Security awarded the grant through the Urban Areas Security Initiatives Program.

A board committee will study how to spend the money, working with police, Bureau of Parks & Recreation, Portland Patrol Inc. and TriMet. "We have a year to decide what to do with the $50,000," Janik told the board. "Among the eligible capital improvements that we could make would be a magnetometer, which is a portable device that measures radioactivity."

Surveillance cameras and bomb-resistant trash cans also could become fixtures at the open-air square, commonly known as Portland's "living room" and recently praised as one of the best urban public squares in the nation. "The bomb-resistant trash cans are such that if someone -- in the middle of the night -- were to put a bomb in a trash can on the square, these hopefully would eliminate any collateral damage," Janik says.


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