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Secret Service Chicago NATO Summit shopping list

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WASHINGTON -- The Secret Service has an extensive shopping list to fortify the Chicago NATO summit, from barriers to withstand a vehicle going 50 mph to 8-foot-high fences that can't be climbed.

The specifics are contained in a bid request from the Secret Service, a document called "sensitive but unclassified." The proposals for equipment rental and project management are due April 24 for the May 20-21 summit.

Many world leaders are expected to arrive in Chicago on May 19 or a few days earlier -- and so are protesters and an international press corps.

The Secret Service document sheds light on the massive security operation that is supporting the summit, which will draw up to 50 heads of state plus associated foreign and defense ministers, military attaches and other high-level personnel in national delegations.

The summit itself is at McCormick Place. Other events are taking place at Soldier Field, Navy Pier and the Field Museum. The official delegations will be staying mainly at downtown hotels. First lady Michelle Obama is taking spouses of world leaders to the Gary Comer Youth Center on the South Side.

The U.S. government --footing the security bill -- is looking for a single vendor to deliver a variety of goods and services at a fixed price, starting on May 14, including:

♦ Portable high-security vehicle barriers to withstand the impact of a 15,000-pound vehicle hitting it at up to 50 mph. The barrier needs to be installed within one hour or less.

The Secret Service is looking for between 10,000 and 20,000 linear feet of standard road-side concrete barriers.

♦ Crowd control "barricade systems": 8-foot-high steel fences with 1/8-inch steel mesh "to mitigate/disperse thrown liquids." The barricade must be "environmentally sensitive" but strong enough to not be pulled or pushed down, "taken apart, set on fire and easily climbed on."

The "anti-scaling" fencing order is for between 20,000 and 25,000 linear feet.

The selected contractor can borrow up to 3,600 linear feet of anti-scale fencing from the government -- but they have to pick it up and return it to a suburban Washington location.

♦ Between 10 and 20 portable light towers for Secret Service checkpoints.

♦ Sand bags, with no specific number.

♦ A variety of tents for various sites, porta-potties and mobile office trailers.

♦ Between five and 10 golf carts.

The Secret Service declined comment.

I understand that the equipment request is considered routine for an event of the magnitude of the NATO summit, with significant potential targets.

The Department of Homeland Security designated the NATO summit as a National Special Security Event; that puts the Secret Service in charge of the overall security plan.

The bid request was posted online April 10. The bid was first disclosed by Government Security News and Paul Merrion at Crain's Chicago Business.

The contractor needs experience in three other high-security events within the past 36 months. All employees must be U.S. citizens and anyone with warrants or felony arrests cannot be part of the work force. All workers will have to undergo a background check by the Secret Service -- so the vendor must supply personnel who can "succefully pass the background investigation."

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on April 17, 2012 7:32 AM.

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