Homeland Security paid a visit to Pueblo on Wednesday to tour the Transportation Technology Center. Congressman John Salazar is working to secure funding to build a subway tunnel at the facility for emergency crews to practice an underground terrorist attack.
On Wednesday Homeland Security Undersecretary Jay Cohen visited with Salazar and others at the facility to get an idea of how things work, and to determine if funding the project can be a reality.
Last year, Rep. Salazar wrote the Homeland Security Department inviting U.S. Secretary Michael Chertoff or a representative to join Salazar in touring Pueblo’s nationally recognized test center. For more than two years, Salazar has worked alongside TTCI to assist it in building a world-class Rail Tunnel and Passenger Training Facility for emergency training and testing purposes. Salazar hopes the department will help him secure $18 million to build the tunnel.
After several terrorist attacks on subways and trains in London, Malaysia, Madrid, and Tokyo, Rep. Salazar believes that funding for this test center is vital to homeland security.
“I am very concerned that the United States currently does not have any adequate research facilities to properly prepare for subway or tunnel terrorist attacks,” Rep. Salazar wrote in his letter. “This is an important step that the Homeland Security Department can take now to improve security on the nation’s mass transit system.”
Salazar is also working with U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-7) to make the test center part of an exclusive National Domestic Preparedness Consortium - a group of five universities and federal test centers that share federal grant funding.