Lt. Governor Stephen B.Pence's Communication Office
Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence names Jamestown, Russell Springs and Russell County “Prepared Kentucky Communities”
Frankfort, KY: Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence today honored Jamestown, Russell Springs and Russell County for the advances they have made in improving safety and homeland security by naming them Prepared Kentucky Communities.
Lieutenant Governor Pence made the presentation to city and county officials at the Russell County Courthouse.
Together, Jamestown and Russell Springs were the first communities to go through the Kentucky Community Preparedness Program. KCPP is the Department of Criminal Justice Training’s homeland security initiative that strengthens the security of Kentucky communities by locating and eliminating potential vulnerabilities. It focuses on hostile acts and crime in small- and medium-sized communities through a system of risk assessments and recommendations for improved security.
“There is a reason that we named this the Kentucky Community Preparedness Program. The program was created with the idea that a community does not stop at the city limits, and the relationship between the officials in Russell County embodies this idea,” Lt. Gov. Pence said. “They did not adopt a false sense of security that something could never happen in their communities. These two Russell County cities were the first in the state to welcome the assessment team, and they did so because they wanted to improve security. Since the team has left, the cities and county have made tremendous strides in making the entire community safer,”
The Kentucky Community Preparedness Program assessment team arrived in Russell County on Monday, February 21. For five days, the team inspected the preparedness levels of the neighboring Russell County communities. Assessors analyzed facilities, structures and security policies and their relationship to each other in order to identify the community’s weaknesses. The team then presented a report of recommendations for improvements.
“The assessment was an eye-opening experience,” said Russell County Sheriff Larry Bennett. “The team looked at our community from top to bottom and returned to us what we thought were solid recommendations, many of which could be easily adopted to improve our community’s overall safety.”
The assessment process is the first step a community takes to prepare and protect its citizens not only from a hostile event, but also from a natural disaster, emergency or criminal activity.
“The community assessments are a critical piece of the Commonwealth’s prevention-focused homeland security strategy,” said Kentucky Office of Homeland Security Director Alecia Webb-Edgington. “Ensuring Kentucky’s first responders and families are ready and prepared requires the support of local officials and citizens alike, and I applaud Jamestown and Russell Springs efforts in helping us better prepare Kentucky.”
The community is also eligible to be reimbursed up to $10,000 for making recommended changes.
KCPP is funded by a $2.4 million grant from the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security. The grant is allowing DOCJT to implement the program in 60 small- and medium-sized communities throughout the state during 2005. The program received an additional $1.2 million grant in 2005 to continue the program for 30 more communities. The program is funded through June 2006.
“As we move across Kentucky, this program is gaining momentum,” said KCPP Director Chuck Melville. “The professional job the assessors have done and the quality information they are returning to communities across the state has established this program as a necessary tool in the fight against terrorism.”