DHS pushes tech to responders

Responder Knowledge Base

Homeland Security Department officials launched a test program today to help smaller communities get commercially available cutting-edge technology to better handle terrorist threats.

Through the Commercial Equipment Direct Assistance Program (CEDAP), the Office of State and Local Government Coordination and Preparedness will provide equipment and technical assistance to selected jurisdictions in accordance with their state’s homeland security strategies.

Under the program, first responders could receive a variety of technologies, including detection equipment for biological and chemical agents, night vision and thermal imaging devices, protective equipment, information-sharing and search software, analysis software and interoperable communications devices.

The Responder Knowledge Base (RKB) is the official site for CEDAP applications. It is a national Web site that provides first responders with information about equipment and related certifications, testing, standards, training, funding, reference material and publications, and further contacts The Oklahoma City-based National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism operates the RKB.

According to information on the RKB Web site, CEDAP has the support of several law enforcement associations. It is designed to help smaller jurisdictions get needed equipment that they had been unable to obtain. The competitive program is a direct assistance program and not a grant program. The initial application period will begin April 5 and last one month.

"Police in Maine and across the nation are in need of counterterrorism technology, especially interoperable communication and detection equipment," Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), chairwoman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, stated in a press release referring to the CEDAP program.

"This funding will get the latest equipment and training into the hands of those who need it most, the frontline officers who protect our communities and who are first to respond to an attack," she added.

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