Feds award $150M for responder systems

Homeland Security Department

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From Boston to Clallam County, Wash., 31 communities across the country have been awarded nearly $150 million in federal funds this week to help them develop demonstration programs of interoperable communications systems for first responders.

Agencies under the Homeland Security and Justice departments jointly administered the Interoperable Communications Technology Grant program. The funds are "intended to uncover solutions that will guide future communications funding" for other communities to develop interoperable systems, said Tom Ridge, DHS secretary.

DHS' Federal Emergency Management Agency will distribute nearly $80 million to 17 communities, while Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) awarded $66.5 million to another 14 municipalities.

The maximum federal contribution for each award is capped at $6 million; local communities contribute a 25 percent match. Funds will pay for communications equipment, enhancements to the communications infrastructure and project management expenses.

The competitive grant process was not open to all communities. The 50 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the country and the largest metro areas in each state were invited to apply for the COPS share of the funding. Additionally, governors were asked to nominate local jurisdictions to submit applications for FEMA's share. Proposals that included regional and cross-jurisdictional partnerships were encouraged.

Peer review panels — including representatives from the fire, law enforcement and emergency medical communities and from several federal programs — evaluated proposals.

Justice grants
Los Angeles$6 million
San Jose, Calif.$3.7 million
Orange County, Fla.$6 million
Indianapolis$6 million
Louisville, Ky.$6 million
New Orleans $5.5 million
Boston $3.2 million
Baltimore $5.1 million
Kansas City, Mo. $2.7 million
Newark, N.J. $2.8 million
Las Vegas $5.996 million
Nassau County, N.Y. $6 million
Columbus, Ohio $2.5 million
Houston$4.9 million
Homeland Security grants
Conway, Ark.$2.1 million
Rehoboth Beach, Del.$2.5 million
St. Clair County, Ill.$6 million
Woodbury County, Iowa$6 million
Worcester County, Md.$5.6 million
Monroe County, Mich.$6 million
Ramsey County, Minn.$6 million
Independence, Mo. $5.5 million
Lewis and Clark County, Mont. $4.5 million
Grafton County, N.H. $2.2 million
Erie County, N.Y. $6 million
Tulsa, Okla. $846,263
Westmoreland County, Pa. $5.96 milion
Narragansett, R.I. $3 million
Charlottesville/Albemarle County/UVA, Va. $6 million
Clallam County, Wash. $5.8 million
Harrison County, W.Va. $5.7 million

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