Governor announces additional grant money

By Lesley Jenkins
star Staff

NASHVILLE -- Gov. Phil Bredesen and the Tennessee Homeland Security Director Jerry Humble today announced the state has obligated an additional $52.8 million in reimbursement grant funds.
   Most of the funds will be obligated through the 11 Homeland Security District Councils to develop mutually supporting plans/projects among the cities and counties within the district. In addition, all 95 counties will receive authorization to plan projects and programs for the funds.
   Although federal regulations require 80 percent of the money to be passed to the local level, as was last year, more will be passed down by the governor.
   Carter County First Responders will receive $79,671 in addition to funding through Homeland Security District Councils. The First Tennessee District will receive $2,039,196 for Homeland Security, $525,000 for Law Enforcement, and $47,895 for Citizen Corps.
   "Local police, sheriffs, firefighters and emergency services personnel are the front line in our homeland security efforts," Bredesen said. "We will continue to support them to the best of our abilities and encourage cities, counties, communities and citizens to work together to enhance our security and preparedness."
   Carter County Emergency Management Agency Director Ernest Jackson said a meeting is set for next Wednesday with directors from the First District to discuss the use of the funds for a regional cooperative. For example, if a decontamination unit is purchased by Carter County, it will be used by other counties in the instance of a terrorist event. "The unit will go to enhance response to a terrorist threat or event," Jackson said.
   Each county will have a specialized piece of equipment available for other counties throughout the region to use, according to Jackson.
   Four separate federal grants will supply the funding:
   * A $32.5 million State Homeland Security reimbursement grant for interoperable communications equipment, homeland security training and planning, infrastructure protection, and terrorism prevention and response equipment. Local jurisdictions will receive 83 percent of the funds.
   * A $9.6 million Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention reimbursement grant for law enforcement interoperable communications equipment, terrorism prevention training and continuing education, and citizen volunteer outreach programs. This is the first time the Department of Homeland Security has specifically allocated funding.
   * A $675,000 Citizen Corps reimbursement grant to enhance programs that encourage citizens to volunteer to participate in local homeland security efforts, including Neighborhood Watch, Volunteers in Police Services, and Community Emergency Response Team programs. Eighty-five percent of these funds will be passed to local jurisdictions.
   * A $10 million Urban Area Security Initiative Grant for use in the Memphis Urban area, consisting of Shelby, Fayette, Tipton and Lauderdale counties. Eighty-five percent of the grant will be passed through to the local jurisdictions.