Funding to Ensure Kentucky’s Communities are Ready and Prepared
Frankfort, KY: Governor Ernie Fletcher today announced that the Commonwealth has received over $31 million to be used for homeland security projects throughout Kentucky. This announcement also marks the beginning of the 2005 grant application process that U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge recently acclaimed as a “model for the nation.”
“My Administration continues to seize the historic opportunity to make Kentucky ready and prepared to respond to the challenges of the post 9/11 world,” stated Governor Ernie Fletcher. “These grants are actively working to provide law enforcement and first responders with the equipment they need to ensure our communities are safe, secure and ready to respond.”
In total, Kentucky has been awarded more than $31 million for FY 2005. Included in this will be approximately $23 million for local jurisdictions and state agencies. Additionally, Louisville has been selected as one of only 30 cities to receive the Urban Area Security Initiative grant valued at $5 million. These grants will be spent on equipment for all types of first responders and law enforcement personnel and the money may be used for training, planning, organization, exercises, equipment, etc.
The Governor noted that the majority of last year’s grant went toward improving communications equipment for first responders resulting in several projects that will bring the state closer to having a statewide voice and data interoperable network.
Governor Fletcher added that this year’s grant money would be awarded, as it was in 2004, through a competitive process rather than solely on the basis of population. “This will ensure our dollars are wisely spent on the best projects in areas of critical need,” said Governor Fletcher.
Director of Homeland Security Keith Hall added that the other areas of funding this year will include community assessments and planning. “The money spent on planning and assessments not only makes the state more prepared, but it identifies critical needs that will be funded by future grants,” Hall said. Additionally, a portion of the funding will go to purchasing Hazmat decontamination and detection equipment.
The state will use its portion of the money largely to focus on building communications infrastructure that will eventually allow both state and local agencies to become interoperable. “These projects when completed will immediately make our first responders safer,” said the Governor. Additionally, monies will be used to fund equipment for the Kentucky State Police and for the Office of Homeland Security.
Beginning Monday, January 10, 2005, the application will be made available by the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security online at http://homelandsecurity.ky.gov. Area Development Districts, Kentucky League of Cities, and the Kentucky Association of Counties will be available to help applicants through the process. Due to the Federal Department of Homeland Security Guidelines, those wishing to apply must do so no later than February 11, 2005. Awards will be made in mid-March, 2005.
City and County officials who have questions about the application process should contact Deputy Executive Director Joel Schrader at 502.564.2081 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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