Office of Homeland Security
Fletcher Administration Official Presents Homeland Security Preparedness Funding and Body Armor to Western Kentucky First Responders

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, September 07, 2005  
Contact Information:  Jason R. Keller

FRANKFORT, Ky.: Today at the La Center Rural Fire Station in Ballard County, Kentucky’s Director of Homeland Security Alecia Webb-Edgington announced homeland security preparedness funding for four counties in the Western Kentucky region and Body Armor for the City of Paducah Police Department. The homeland security funding, which was announced for Ballard, Carlisle, Hickman and McCracken counties, will provide local First Responders with needed equipment and supplies.

“As recent events on the gulf coast have demonstrated, it is vitally important that our First Responders have the resources and tools they need to respond in the event of an emergency,” said Alecia Webb-Edgington. “The grants that these communities are receiving today will allow local first response agencies to receive the essential equipment they need to aid in life saving rescue and recovery missions.”  

The bulk of today’s funding will go to support the regional Hazardous Materials (HazMat) team receive supplies and equipment so they can specifically handle threatening events such as biological hazards and chemical spills.   

Today’s presentations included funding for: 

Ballard County - $30,000

Funding will go to purchase equipment for fire departments in the county. This includes SCBA tanks, coats, gloves and other items

Carlisle County - $49,360

Funding will provide personal protective equipment, equipment trailers and other supplies for the county’s first responders

Hickman County – $20,000

Funding will aid the regional HazMat team by providing for various equipment

McCracken County - $159,930

Funding will aid the regional HazMat team by providing for various equipment

City of Paducah Police Department - $31,040

Funding will provide the Department with 80 Body Armor suits
The Kentucky Body Armor Program, established in 1998, allows law enforcement agencies to acquire body armor for their sworn officers.  Funding for the program is derived from the sale of firearms that have been confiscated by state and local law enforcement agencies.  The Kentucky State Police receives these weapons and transfers them to the state's Division of Surplus Property, which in turn sells them at public auction to federally licensed firearms dealers.  The program is a collaborative effort by the Governor's Office for Local Development (GOLD), the Kentucky State Police and the Division of Surplus Equipment. The current state price contract amount for an officer vest is $331.00 while the average cost of a canine vest is approximately $650.00.

Applications for the Kentucky Body Armor Program are available through the Governor's Office for Local Development and are accepted on a continual basis.  Projects are selected for funding three or four times a year based on need and the availability of funds.  Since its establishment in 1998, the program has approved 2,616 officer vests and service animal vests.  This represents $1,017,098 that has been sent to local law enforcement agencies.  Additionally over $211,000 has been provided to the Kentucky State Police for new equipment.  The Kentucky Body Armor Program is administered by the Governor’s Office for Local Development.

Director Webb-Edgington continued, “Our commonwealth’s emergency personnel tirelessly work to ensure Kentucky is ready and prepared to prevent and respond to an emergency of any kind. That is why it is our responsibility to remain committed to giving them the equipment and resources they need to do their job effectively.”