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GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES 2005 DHS GRANT AWARD FOR OKLAHOMA HOMELAND SECURITY INITIATIVES

12-03-2004

Oklahoma City ? Gov. Brad Henry, in conjunction with Oklahoma Homeland Security Director Kerry Pettingill, today announced that Oklahoma will receive more than $29.9 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to fund homeland security programs throughout the state.

?This federal funding is critical to helping us ensure the safety and security of Oklahomans,? Gov. Henry said. ?The threat of terrorism requires that we remain ever-vigilant. Thankfully, this funding provides tremendous help in helping us strengthen our homeland security endeavors.?

U.S. Department of Homeland Security awards the funds as part of the FY 2005 Homeland Security Grant Program. Oklahoma?s award totals $29,973,616 and those funds will be dedicated to several areas: State Homeland Security Program ($15,552,072), Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program ($5,655,300), Urban Areas Security Initiative ($5,570,181), Emergency Management Performance Grant Program ($2,543,443), the Metropolitan Medical Response System Program ($455,184) and Citizen Corps ($197,434).

The Governor has designated the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security (OKOHS) as the State Administering Agency for the DHS grant programs.

?We are extremely pleased that the federal government has again awarded millions of dollars to Oklahoma to continue our homeland security initiatives,? said Pettingill. ?We have started numerous programs across the state in an attempt to protect our friends and neighbors from a potential terrorist attack. This additional funding will allow us to continue to make progress on current projects while we plan for the future.?

This year the federal government is recognizing Oklahoma City as an Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI). Oklahoma is one of 28 U.S. states with a USAI area. Each state with a UASI receives federal funds dedicated specifically to that area to assist with the planning, equipment, training and exercise needs required of large urban areas. This is the first year a major metropolitan area in Oklahoma has been recognized as a UASI.

?Being recognized as a UASI is a benchmark that, in my opinion, is long overdue,? said Pettingill. ?Oklahoma City knows too well the effects of terrorism. Although city leaders have made great strides in protecting the citizens and buildings of Oklahoma City since the Murrah bombing, these funds should assist in future efforts. We are looking forward to working closely with Mayor Cornett and other city leaders to meet the requirements of receiving UASI funding.?

Early next year cities, counties and state agencies will be able to apply for FY 2005 Homeland Security Grant Program funds through OKOHS. Applications will be available via the OKOHS web site at www.homelandsecurity.ok.gov or by calling (405) 425-7296.

?I am proud of the progress that our state Office of Homeland Security has been able to make in guarding against terrorism ? foreign or domestic,? the Governor said. ?I know this additional funding will be put to good use.?

Including today?s award, Oklahoma has received more than $92 million for domestic preparedness efforts.