Homeland security awards state nearly $36 million

Filed under: News |

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has awarded Colorado more than $36.9 million from the State Homeland Security Grant Program for training, equipment, exercises and planning to help first responders better secure their communities.

Colorado Springs City Manager Lorne C. Kramer said that the amount of money each region of the state will receive has not been determined.

The money is part of more than $8 billion the department has allocated or awarded since March 1, 2003 to help first responders and state and local governments prevent, respond and recover from potential acts of terrorism and other potential disasters.

“At Homeland Security we have implemented a national strategy of shared responsibility, shared accountability and shared leadership,” Secretary Tom Ridge said. “Funding the capabilities of local first responders is central to our mission of increasing America’s preparedness. These dollars will purchase equipment and training that will help our first responders save lives by preventing acts of terrorism and responding if one occurs.”

Ridge announced the application period of these funds in November as part of $2.2 billion in counterterrorism grants allocated in federal fiscal year 2004. The grants are distributed through three programs accessible through on online application form, the State Homeland Security Program, the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program and Citizen Corps.

Since its creation last year, the Department of Homeland Security has allocated more than $71 million to Colorado to be used for equipment, training, planning and exercises. The state received more than $9.4 million in FY 2003 and an additional $25.1 million in that year’s supplemental budget. Colorado received $36.9 million for FY 2004.

The Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice have provided $13.1 billion in direct homeland grants from fiscal year 2002 through fiscal year 2004, compared to only $1.2 billion allocated from FY 1999 through FY 2001. The additional funding is an increase of more than 900 percent.