US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced today that $35.5 million in federal stimulus funds will be used to buy 1,200 explosives detection units that will be placed at airports nationwide.
Napolitano announced the plans at a news conference at Logan International Airport. Security at the airport is an especially fraught issue because two of the planes involved in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks departed from Boston.
"These state-of-the-art technologies will strengthen security and streamline screening operations while making air travel more convenient for passengers," Napolitano said in a statement.
Napolitano said that Logan would receive 60 of the explosives detection units by the early summer. Fifty of the devices are already deployed at the airport.
"The threat of explosives remains a great concern to all of us," she said.
About 7,000 of the explosives trace detection devices are already in use.
Napolitano also announced that $6.1 million would be used to purchase 135 chemical analysis devices that will be able to identify possible explosives in liquids passing through checkpoints.
Napolitano demurred when asked how she felt about being on President Obama's short list for the Supreme Court.
"I'm flattered, but I am focused on the job that I've got," she said.
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