Texas to get $188 million in Homeland Security funds
By Ashley Sanders
The News staff writer
With Southeast Texas boasting thousands of miles of oil and gas pipelines, Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn agree that it is vital that the nation maintain Texas port security.
Hutchison and Cornyn announced Wednesday that the State of Texas will receive $188.2 million in 2007 grant funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the third highest recipient in the country behind California and New York. Last year Texas received $89.8 million total.
“Texas faces unique homeland, port, and border security challenges,” said Sen. Hutchison. “I will continue to work with state and local officials to ensure their homeland and border security funding needs are met.”
The state will receive $65 million to bolster first responder communication through the Public Safety Interoperable Communications (PSIC) Program, and a combined $58.9 million through the State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) and Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program (LETPP).
In addition, several Texas metropolitan areas, including Dallas and Houston, will directly receive a total of $58.5 million through the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI).
“This funding is critical to ensuring our first responders, or hometown security, have what they need to keep our communities safe,” Sen. Cornyn said. “We must continue working together on a local, state and federal level to best equip and support those on the front lines of our security.”
Sen. Cornyn added, “Enhancing interoperable communications has consistently been one of the top priorities identified by first responders in the wake of September 11. Communication between first responder agencies and emergency management teams is essential to effective and rapid disaster response and preparedness for threats facing our state.”