Intelligence Report: Secret Service soliciting security bids ahead of Chicago NATO summit

April 17, 2012 4:33:08 PM PDT
The Secret Service has jurisdiction over all law enforcement for the NATO summit. That agency is now taking bids from private contractors to put up temporary security barricades.

In this Intelligence Report: Some amazing video shows exactly what the government is trying to protect NATO from.

Most of the public attention surrounding the summit has focused on possible violence from anarchists and other protesters. But the Secret Service is equally as concerned about terrorist truck bombs. The agency plans to erect sizable barriers intended to keep more dangerous threats separated from world leaders.

The Secret Service wants anti-ram barriers erected at checkpoints around McCormick Place during the NATO summit, according to a federal solicitation for bids due in a week.

Among the security needs: Portable vehicle barriers able to withstand an attempted penetration of a 15,000-pound vehicle at 50 mph.

On the short list of bidders is Infrastructure Defense Technologies, located in Belvidere, near Rockford. IDT manufactures the barriers, has worked for the Secret Service and is already under separate contract with the Defense Department, according to company partner Tom Carlton. The company also provides protection against terrorist explosives, what they call low-technology products to protect high-value targets, and there will be more than 50 such targets gathered at McCormick Place next month, heads of state and leaders of government.

According to the Secret Service solicitation, bids are also being taken for crowd control barrier systems, 8-foot high anti-scale fencing for controlling access, and protecting dignitaries, delegates and others.

Illinois-based IDT is also bidding on the fencing, designed to prevent summit crashers from scaling the temporary walls and gaining access to delegates.

The actual perimeter where fencing, car-bomb barriers and checkpoints will go hasn't been announced and may not even have been determined. Nor is it clear why security bids are just going out for a major world summit that starts in a little more than four weeks, one that has been planned since last year.

Regardless, the only private security contractor from Illinois that is in the running for the security work doesn't seem fazed by the short timeframe.