May 14, 2021 - News

Des Moines accepts DHS grant for new crowd protection system

Vehicle barricades used in Miami Beach

DSM’s new vehicle barricades will look similar to these used in Miami Beach. Photo courtesy of Meridian Rapid Defense Group

DSM is getting portable vehicle barricades that you’ll start seeing later this year at large gatherings like the Downtown Farmers Market.

Why it matters: They’ll prevent vehicles from plowing into crowds, whether purposely or by accident.

  • More than 200 people have died and hundreds more have been injured since 2016 from similar incidents, according to incident tracking from the Counter Extremism Project, an international policy organization.
  • Cases in Minneapolis and Schaumburg, Ill., are among those in the Midwest that have made headlines.

What happened: DSM accepted this week a $93,000 Homeland Security grant to purchase 10 sets of special vehicle barricades. No matching cash from the city was required.

  • The systems can be quickly wheeled into place by a single person, rather than concrete or water-filled barriers that are delivered using trucks and cranes.
  • The U.S. Secret Service, multiple cities and some private restaurant owners already use the system, Robert Penfold, a spokesperson for Meridian Rapid Defense Group, told Axios Local's Jason Clayworth.

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