DHS announces $1.7 billion in grants for locals
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced $1.7 billion in grants for state and local governments this fiscal year. DHS has released grant guidance and application kits for five programs: State Homeland Security, Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention, the Urban Areas Security Initiative, the Metropolitan Medical Response System and the Citizen Corps. Grant money could be allocated by this summer, following a review process.
DHS has refined its grants program to make it more streamlined and user-friendly, says Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. “There will be increased interaction with all applicants before we award the grants to ensure effective investment,” Chertoff says. “The funds will be distributed to reduce risk across the United States, not just a handful of places.” However, Chertoff added that high-risk communities would receive most of the funds.
Including this year’s grants, DHS has distributed nearly $20 billion to state and local governments for planning, organization, equipment and training. This year’s funding priorities include interoperable communications, information sharing and citizen preparedness.