Request Submitted To: City of Boston Office of Emergency Management

Category: Surveillance

Year Filed: 2019


Since 2003, the City of Boston and surrounding cities and towns have been designated as an “Urban Areas Security Initiative” (UASI) region by the federal Department of Homeland Security. This UASI designation enables the City and the larger Metro Boston Homeland Security Region (MBHSR) to apply for and obtain federal grants for information sharing, surveillance, emergency preparedness, police and first responder communications, and other technologies and staffing.

The cities and towns included in the MBHSR are Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Quincy, Revere, Somerville and Winthrop. Since 2003, the region has received hundreds of millions of dollars through the UASI grant program. These funds are distributed through the Office of Emergency Management in Boston, which also coordinates regional planning meetings, technology acquisitions and development, and regional training exercises, among other efforts.

In July 2019, the ACLU sent an information request to the Office of Emergency Management, to learn more about region-wide surveillance networks.