Airport getting security camera upgrade

Spokane one of five U.S. cities receiving Homeland Security help

Spokane is one of five U.S. cities whose airports will receive a major upgrade of video surveillance cameras provided by the Homeland Security Department.

The Spokane International Airport will install the new closed-circuit advance video cameras throughout the terminal complex, said airport spokesman Todd Woodard.

Installing cameras at the five airports will cost $7.7 million, according to a recent Homeland Security news release.

Most of that money comes from the Obama administration’s stimulus and recovery budget. Some comes out of existing Homeland Security budgets, said Woodard.

New cameras will also be installed at Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International; Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport; Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Boise Airport.

Homeland Security will eventually spend about $1 billion by next year on airport security projects, according to a release from the Transportation Security Administration.

Woodard said Spokane received early consideration because airport staff worked quickly on the application.

Spurring the application was Spokane Airport Police Chief Pete Troyer, who is active in national airport security groups, Woodard said.

Troyer would not say how many cameras the funds will provide.

He also would not say how many the airport has now.

But, Troyer added, “It will significantly expand the existing system.”

The cameras will go in after the first of the year, Woodard added.

He said the extra cameras will not result in more jobs at the airport.

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