Show Us The Money
 
Show Us The Money

Paul Rothman

Access Control & Security Systems, Feb 1, 2003

Has your state gotten its share of the money? Since Sept. 11, the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs (OJP) has provided funding for states to purchase emergency first responder equipment and to conduct exercises to protect against weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

"These grants are part of a larger federal effort to ensure the safety of our nation against future acts of aggression," says Attorney General John Ashcroft.

The funds are to be used to purchase specialized equipment for emergency response agencies, including law enforcement personnel, fire and emergency medical services and hazardous materials response units, who are the first responders to terrorist acts involving WMD.

Using Office of Domestic Preparedness (ODP) funding, all 50 states, the territories (such as Guam and American Somoa), and the District of Columbia can use the money to purchase an array of equipment. Eligible categories include personal protective equipment; chemical, biological or radiological detection and decontamination equipment; communications equipment; physical security enhancement equipment; WMD technical rescue equipment; general support equipment; and medical supplies and limited types of pharmaceuticals.

In 2002, the OJP appropriated $354.84 million for the state domestic preparedness equipment programs, which were significantly boosted because of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The largest chunks of funding were doled out to the states with the biggest populations. California was awarded more than $24 million, Texas received more than $16 million, New York was given almost $15 million, Florida came in at nearly $13 million, and Illinois and Pennsylvania each got around $10 million.

In addition to the state awards, several large cities also applied for the grants. Cities awarded funding for equipment included New York City; Dayton, Ohio; Tacoma and Spokane, Wash.; Jersey City, N.J.; Lincoln, Neb.; and San Bernadino, Calif., to name a few.

Aside from first responder equipment, the OJP has also appropriated funds to the states to improve criminal background check systems. More than $36 million has been distributed to the 50 states, District of Columbia and three territories to improve the nation's criminal history record systems by continuing the automation of criminal records systems.

To see all of the OJP funding opportunities, visit http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/fundopps.htm

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