Justice and Public Safety Cabinet
Governor Ernie Fletcher Announces Final Round of Kentucky Community Preparedness Program Assessments.
Homeland Security Program Is Funded for 30 Additional Assessments
Frankfort, KY – Governor Ernie Fletcher today announced the final 12 communities that will undergo a homeland security assessment from the Kentucky Community Preparedness Program in 2005, and said that the program has been funded to assess an additional 30 communities in 2006.
The assessment, which helps identify vulnerabilities and tighten security, is the first step a community takes to prepare itself and protect its citizens from a hostile event, a natural disaster or criminal activity.
“The devastation along the Gulf Coast is a testament to the necessity of the Kentucky Community Preparedness Program,” Gov. Fletcher said. “In Louisiana and Mississippi, we are seeing what can happen to communities when they are not prepared for a catastrophic event. We have had tremendous success with the assessments and they are helping ensure that Kentucky is prepared to respond to a potential emergency, whether it is in the form of a terrorist attack or a devastating natural disaster. This program is a vital investment in Kentucky’s safety.”
In 2004, the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security approved a $2.4 million grant, allowing the Department of Criminal Justice Training to implement the program in 60 small- and medium-sized communities throughout the state during a 12-month period.
The 12 cities announced today complete the program’s 60-community goal for 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.
“The Kentucky Community Preparedness Program is working to effectively address the various vulnerabilities inherent in our Commonwealth’s small- and medium-sized communities, and the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security is proud to extend funding for the program for another year,” said Alecia Webb-Edgington, director of the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security. “Law enforcement leaders and other county officials continue to provide our office with positive feedback of this program, so it is critical that we continue to supply other communities with a mechanism to make those areas safer from all threats.”
KCPP 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. An assessment team scrutinizes each community's infrastructure, including schools, water plants, communications systems, government buildings, industry and other areas.
“We are pleased to continue the important and worthwhile task of preparing Kentucky’s communities,” said KCPP Director Chuck Melville. “With every assessment, the teams gain knowledge and experience that they will carry with them in future sites across Kentucky.”
Working closely with local law enforcement and community leaders, the teams 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 are able to allocate resources and funds to the areas where they are most needed.
Communities that complete the entire assessment process will be certified as a Prepared Kentucky Community and will eligible to be reimbursed up to $10,000 for making recommended changes.
The Department of Criminal Justice Training developed the Kentucky Community Preparedness Program 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.
“The program’s proactive approach is shifting the way government officials and law enforcement think about safety,” said DOCJT Commissions John W. Bizzack. “Kentuckians are beginning to realize that the key to homeland security is being prepared.”
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 communities that make up the final round of assessments are:
London (Laurel County)
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