Gov. Bill Ritter today announced this year’s homeland security grant awards to communities across Colorado, providing more than $20 million to be administered by the newly operational Governor’s Office of Homeland Security.
More than 80 percent of the funds awarded will go to counties and local jurisdictions throughout Colorado to support local first responders and homeland security initiatives. The funded projects will improve the state’s preparedness for a man-made or natural disaster.
Projects include community preparedness initiatives, detection of and protection from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), interoperable communications capabilities, the Colorado First Responder Authentication Credentialing system, law enforcement crime data and counter-terrorism tools, planning activities, medical surge capabilities, exercise and training initiatives, and first responder equipment.
Colorado was one of only 11 states nationwide this year to receive an increase in funding from last year’s grant awards — $20.7 million this year, up 4 percent from last year’s $19.9 million. Officials attributed this to the high quality of the state’s application to the federal government, which ranked in the top 25 percent of all states nationally.
The newly created Governor’s Office of Homeland Security guided the local application and award process throughout the past six months using new risk-based funding formulas and a competitive scoring system that judges the quality of the projects submitted.
“This greatly improved process now provides strong guidance, training and monitoring for all homeland security grants. It ensures standardized and accountable procedures for all grants that are awarded,” Gov. Ritter said. “And it provides an inclusive, collaborative and responsible process that is delivering positive results and praise from the federal government.
“At the end of the day, this is about ensuring that taxpayer dollars are used appropriately and to their best and highest use, and that we are makingColorado‘s communities as safe as possible.”
In April, state and local agencies throughout Colorado submitted 30 applications seeking more than $35 million in funding for more than 150 projects. The projects were scored by a multi-jurisdictional Grant Review Committee in August. The resulting recommendations for awards were then approved by a Governor’s Homeland Security Senior Advisory Committee and by Gov. Ritter this month. Ninety projects will be funded with the $20.7 million allocation.
The 2008 grant programs and dollar amounts are:
· Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP): $20.7 million
o State Homeland Security Program (SHSP): $11.8 million
o Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI): $7.6 million
o Metropolitan Medical Resource System (MMRS): $963,663
o Citizens Corp Program (CCP): $249,368
· Buffer Zone Protection Program: $1.6 million
· Transit Security Grant Program: $831,648
· Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant: $609,616
· Nonprofit Security Grant: $55,843
Total Grant Funds for Colorado: $23.8 million
Broken down by geographic area, total HSGP awards are as follows:
1) City and County of Denver UASI: $6.1 million
2) North Central Region: $3.0 million
3) North East Region: $1.1 million
4) North West Region: $944,000
5) San Luis Valley Region: $588,000
6) South Region: $747,000
7) South Central Region: $1.2 million
8) South East Region: $712,000
9) South West Region: $721,000
10) West Region: $708,000
Local Agency Total: $15.8 million
State Agency Total: $4.0 million
Metropolitan Medical Response System: $935,000
Homeland Security Grant Program Total: $20.7 million
(Up 4 percent from $19.9 million in 2007)