Kentucky Community Preparedness Program to Address Vulnerabilities of
60 Communities Throughout the Commonwealth
Frankfort, KY: Governor Ernie Fletcher today unveiled a unique initiative to strengthen the security of 60 communities in Kentucky by locating and eliminating potential vulnerabilities. The assessment process is the first step a community takes to prepare it and protect it citizens not only from a hostile event, but also from a natural disaster, emergency or criminal activity.
The program focuses on prevention of hostile acts and crime in small and medium-sized communities through a system of risk assessments and recommendations for improved security. The Kentucky Community Preparedness Program will assess each community’s infrastructure, including schools, water plants, communications systems, city halls, and other areas. Qualified communities will then be certified as a “Certified Ready and Prepared Kentucky Community.” Furthermore, this Homeland Security effort will better prepare communities to deal with weather emergencies and daily crimes.
“This program will help ensure Kentucky is prepared to respond to a potential emergency and allow families to feel more secure in their communities,” said Governor Ernie Fletcher. “By giving each community their own “preparedness playbook,” we will ensure the various security issues surrounding our Commonwealth’s infrastructure are addressed.”
The Department of Criminal Justice Training developed the Kentucky Community Preparedness Program under the leadership of General Maxwell Clay Bailey and Commissioner John Bizzack in 2003. The goal is to mobilize local law enforcement and community officials in a formalized process of identifying and correcting security vulnerabilities that might be exploited by terrorists or criminals. Assessments were conducted in seven pilot cities, which concluded with strong support from everyone involved.
Alexandria Chief of Police Mike Ward said, "Participating in the assessment process was extremely beneficial to Alexandria. It forced us to change the way we thought about our approach to terrorism and crime prevention, and gave us the opportunity to look at other areas of the community. There has been a decrease in crime here, and I attribute that, in part, to the adjustments we made from our vulnerability assessment."
In 2004, the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security approved a $2.4 million grant, which will allow DOCJT to implement the program in 60 small and medium-sized communities throughout the state during the next 12-month period. The first round of assessments is scheduled to begin in mid-February.
“This program will help us ensure our communities are prepared not only to respond in the event of an emergency, but will also act as a deterrent to mitigate any threat against Kentucky,” said Keith Hall, Kentucky’s Director of Homeland Security.
Assessment teams will be trained in a methodology based on the Sandia National Laboratories’ Risk Assessment Methodology for Communities (RAM-C), but that has been modified to meet the specific needs of Kentucky's small- and medium- sized communities. Working closely with local law enforcement and community leaders, the teams will conduct vulnerability assessments to identify a community’s weaknesses using a detailed and systematic analysis of facilities, structures and security policies and their relationship to each other.
By looking at a community as a whole instead of just looking at individual components, local officials will be able to allocate resources and funds to the areas where they are most needed.
"Law enforcement leaders in this state wanted a mechanism to make their communities safer from all threats, and that is exactly what this program provides," said DOCJT Commissioner John W. Bizzack. "It finds out where a community's vulnerabilities are and it offers a method, and in some instances funding, to make them stronger. A single criminal could create a catastrophic event for a community if he attacks the right target. We have put together an experienced and knowledgeable team whose goal is to make sure that never happens."
Cities that complete the assessment will be certified as a Prepared Kentucky Community. Assessment teams will revisit each community to evaluate the progress they are making on the recommendations.
The grant also includes $600,000 in funds earmarked to reimburse “Certified Ready and Prepared Kentucky Communities”, up to $10,000 per community, for some of the recommended improvements that are made.
The KCPP was developed in partnership with the Kentucky League of Cities, the Kentucky Association of Counties, the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council, the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police, the Kentucky Sheriffs’ Association and the Pollution Prevention Center at the University of Louisville.
The 15 communities that will go through the first assessments are:
Ashland (Boyd County)
Barbourville (Knox County)
Carrollton (Carroll County)
Dayton (Campbell County)
Ft. Wright (Kenton County)
Jamestown (Russell County)
Leitchfield (Grayson County)
Manchester (Clay County)
Mayfield (Graves County)
Maysville (Mason County)
Murray (Calloway County)
Owensboro (Daviess County)
Prestonsburg (Floyd County)
Richmond (Madison County)
Springfield (Washington County)
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