$80M in homeland-security grants given to municipalities

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To help local emergency preparedness capability, local governments and police departments across the state have received $80 million in grants, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today.

The grants help support and expand local government and police departments’ ability to respond and react to emergencies. The majority of funding is distributed through the $75 million annual state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant, Gannett’s Ashley Hupfl reports.

Cuomo_Matt“New York has seen some of the nation’s worst disasters in recent years, and this $80 million will go a long way to strengthening the network of locally-based emergency response infrastructure across our state,” Cuomo said in a statement. “First responders are often the initial lien of defense in any critical incident, and supporting their communication abilities is an important way for the state to help safeguard our communities during a crisis.”

The $75 million grant aims to improve first responders’ ability to communicate with neighboring counties and to respond quickly to any disaster to provide public safety.

Among the 53 counties awarded funding from the $75 million grant: Broome County received $6 million, Livingston County received $5.9 million, Seneca County received $6 million, and Westchester County received $5.9 million.

The 2013 federal State Homeland Security Program funds the remaining $5 million to Technical Rescue and Urban Search and Rescue, Bomb Squad Initiative, the Explosive Detection Canine Team Grant Program, and the Critical Infrastructure Grant Program.

The Technical Rescue and Urban Search and Rescue program received a total of $2 million in funding. Among the 16 local government and police and fire departments awarded grants:

• The city of Cortland received $149,791
• Monroe County received $133,626
• The city of Poughkeepsie received $85,045
• The Buffalo Fire Department received $98,709

The Bomb Squad Initiative received a total of $2 million in funding to improve the ability to detect and respond to Improvised Explosive Devices. Among the 12 local Federal Bureau of Investigation-accredited Bomb Squads in the state awarded grants:

• Westchester County received $261,817
• Rockland County received $105,936
• Erie County received $112,500
• The City of Rochester received $112,500
• Monroe County received $112,500

The Explosive Detection Canine Team Grant Program aims to improve or develop an explosive detection canine team. The program received a total of $500,000 in funding. Of the 14 local governments, police, and sheriff departments awarded grants:

• Westchester County Public Safety Department received $60,000
• City of Ithaca Police Department received $60,000
• Putnam County Sherriff’s Office received $55,977
• Madison County Sheriff’s Office received $19,967
• Rockland County Sheriff’s Office received $20,000
• City of Rochester Police Department received $18,132
• Monroe County Sheriff’s Office received $10,084

The Critical Infrastructure Grant Program aims to help protect critical infrastructure at a special event or seasonal at-risk location. The program received a total of $500,00 in funding. Of the 10 local governments awarded grants:

• Monroe County received $50,000
• Broome County received $50,000
• Erie County received $50,000

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