DHS issues $80M in grants

Department of Homeland Security

Homeland Security Department officials announced almost $80 million in federal grants yesterday to improve security in ports and on highways.

About $49.4 million goes to 154 recipients in the department's fourth round of port security grants to support upgrades of surveillance equipment, access controls to restricted areas, communications equipment and construction of new command and control facilities.

Previously, DHS officials awarded $92 million in 2002 and $347 million in 2003 from the Port Security Grant Program and about $75 million last year through the Urban Area Security Initiative grant program.

DHS officials also announced that a $21 million grant was awarded to the American Trucking Association's Highway Watch Program, which trains truckers, bus drivers and other transportation workers to identify and report suspicious activity or other security concerns on highways. Part of the funds will be used for communications infrastructure, but further details were not available.

Lastly, about 55 grants totaling $9.9 million were awarded for bus security enhancements. The federal funds will be used for tracking and communications systems, security assessments and development of security plans, training and physical security enhancements, including surveillance equipment. Department officials awarded nearly $20 million for similar enhancements last year.

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