Cass, Berrien awarded security dollars

Published 10:26 am Tuesday, April 6, 2004

By Staff
LANSING -- The State of Michigan awarded $73.1 million to 104 local communities for homeland security efforts, including $350,665 to Cass County, $908,384 to Berrien County and $518,739 to Van Buren County.
The monies were made available under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) FY 2004 Homeland Security Grant Program.
The awards integrate the State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) and Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program (LETPP) into a single grant package.
The amount also includes funds for the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) Grant earmarked for the City of Detroit and Wayne County.
Of the funds, $47,083,000 is being provided for homeland security and emergency operations planning; the purchase of specialized equipment to enhance the capability of state and local agencies to prevent, respond to and mitigate incidents of terrorism involving the use of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) weapons and cyber attacks; for state CBRNE and cyber security training programs and cyber security exercises; and for costs associated with implementing the State Homeland Security Strategy.
Citizens Corps Program funds of $978,000 will be used to support citizen corps councils with planning, outreach and management of citizen corps programs and activities.
The Urban Area Security Initiative will provide $23,491,484 from the combined 2004 and 2003 grants.
The program provides financial assistance to address the unique planning, equipment, training and exercise needs of large urban areas and to assist them in building an enhanced and sustainable capacity to prevent, respond to and recover from threats or acts of terrorism.
As prescribed by the Department of Homeland Security, 80 percent of the funds must be passed through to local communities, and the state will retain 20 percent for its preparedness efforts.
However, with the 2004 UASI monies, the state is passing 100 percent of the funds through to the City of Detroit and Wayne County.
Awards to local communities are based on a funding formula that takes into consideration the population and critical infrastructure at risk in the community.
Additionally, special allocations have been made to the international border communities of Port Huron, St. Clair County and Chippewa County.
The funding formula was developed by the Michigan State Planning Team, which is made up of state and local representatives who reflect all 11 first responder disciplines that would be called upon to assist in a terrorist event.
During 2003, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office for Domestic Preparedness (ODP) launched the State Homeland Security Assessment and Strategy (SHSAS) process.
The process allowed the state and local jurisdictions to update their threat and response capability assessment data to reflect post-Sept. 11, 2001, realities.
Furthermore, the SHSAS serves as a planning tool for state and local jurisdictions in better allocating funds for homeland security efforts.
The assessment was a necessary step for the state in updating its statewide homeland security strategy and obtaining federal assistance.
The strategy provides the umbrella goals and objectives for state and local communities in committing grant resources.
In fact, Michigan's strategy was the first in the nation to be approved by the Department of Homeland Security and has been offered as a model for other states.
One key concept in the strategy is to encourage regional approaches to planning and preparedness and to adopt regional response structures whenever appropriate to meet the needs identified through the assessment and in the state's strategy.
Furthermore, it is DHS's intent to steer state and local security and preparedness efforts toward a project-oriented process to address common, measurable objectives.
The Michigan Department of State Police Emergency Management Division (EMD) is the administrative agency for federal homeland security grant programs. It coordinates the grant program for the state and will be working with local jurisdictions in allocating the funds.
Additional homeland security grant information is available on the State of Michigan Web site at