The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has designated the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders meeting as a national special security event that will be coordinated by Secret Service.
The designation will allow the state and city to use federal funds to cover some of the costs relating to the meeting, Gov. Linda Lingle said yesterday. She said her request for special security designation was approved by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in a letter dated Aug. 27.
Under the designation, federal agencies, state and local law enforcement, and public safety agencies will coordinate security as well as contingency plans for the APEC meetings at the Hawaii Convention Center Nov. 12 and 13, 2011. It also means that federal law enforcement personnel and more than 5,500 Hawaii Army and Air National Guard troops will be available for security.
The event is expected to be hosted by President Barack Obama and attract more than 10,000 participants from the Asia-Pacific region, including 19 heads of state, senior government officials, business leaders, international economists, Asia-Pacific experts and international media.
Lingle submitted her request in May after she and state Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Robert Lee met with Homeland Security and Secret Service officials in Washington, D.C. in February to discuss security for the APEC meeting.
Napolitano said “the United States Secret Service will coordinate the development and implementation of the overall operational security plan; the Federal Bureau of Investigation will coordinate intelligence, crisis management, hostage rescue and counter-terrorism planning; and the Federal Emergency Management Agency will coordinate emergency response and recovery planning.”
The city has allocated $28 million over two years for APEC-related costs, about $22 million of that for the Honolulu Police Department. Lingle has not disclosed how much the state has budgeted for APEC expenses.
HPD Maj. Clayton Kau said police have identified special training and equipment it might need “to address crowd control (illegal protests), venue security and dignitary protection.” The police also will buy bicycles, protective equipment and uniforms, as well as pay for specialized training and the rental of vans, Kau said.
The city plans to send a delegation of police and other emergency management personnel to Yokohama, Japan, to observe the security procedures and operations Japanese officials will use at this year’s APEC meetings on Nov. 13-14.
Hawaii’s event will be the first APEC leaders meeting held in the United States since the first meeting on Blake Island, Wash., in 1993.