DHS allocates funding to cities

Homeland Security Department

The Homeland Security Department last week announced allocations from the $700 million appropriated to cities in the fiscal 2003 supplementary budget.

Thirty cities and their contiguous counties and mutual aid partners will receive $500 million for critical infrastructure security, training, exercises, equipment and information sharing. Funds also can be used for operational activities from January through April this year associated with the heightened alert status. The funding will be passed through states.

The top 10 cities and surrounding regions that received the funding include:

$125 million to New York City.

$42.4 million to Washington, D.C.

$29.97 million to Chicago.

$23.77 million to Houston.

$18.87 million to Los Angeles.

$18.59 million to San Francisco.

$18.18 million to Seattle.

$16.72 million to Boston.

$15.57 million to Denver.

$14.21 million to Philadelphia.

At least the first seven cities listed above have previously received federal funding to shore up their security.

In addition, 14 ports will receive $75 million for training, exercises, planning, equipment and information sharing, while $65 million has been earmarked for 20 of the highest-risk transit systems in the country. States can use 20 percent of a transit award to complement state assets at those sites.

Among other things, transit funds can be used for video surveillance, motion detectors, thermal/infrared imagery and chemical and radiological material detection systems, integrated communications systems, planning, training and exercises. Part of the funds for ports and transit areas can also be used for operational activities stemming from the higher threat level earlier this year.

Thirty million dollars will be used to implement a radiological defensive system in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area, while $5 million will be used for the same system in the Charleston, S.C., metro area. That program, according to DHS information, is supposed to enhance radiological detection capabilities and begin "establishing a layered and linked system of fixed radiological sensors around the heart of each region."

Finally, $15 million in discretionary grants will be available for development of pilot projects affecting high-density, high-threat urban areas. Another $10 million will be available for technical assistance — regarding interoperable communications, conducting vulnerability assessments, developing emergency operations and site plans, implementing radiological defense systems, and developing and conducting exercises — to those states and local jurisdictions receiving such funds.

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