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OKLAHOMA CITY ?Governor Brad Henry today announced that local communities can now apply for the latest round of federal funds from the United States Department of Homeland Security. The Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security (OKOHS) received more than $32 million in grant money from the Office for Domestic Preparedness (ODP), and local agencies can apply for the grants through OKOHS beginning May 5, 2004.

?This federal money will provide a tremendous boost in our efforts to prevent Oklahoma from being a target of terrorist attack,? said Gov. Henry.

The federal funds will be used to assist local and tribal government in three critical areas: Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention (LETP), State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) and Citizen Corps Programs.

?Oklahomans should feel safe no matter where they go, no matter what they?re doing,? said OKOHS Director Kerry Pettingill.  "We are pleased that there are specific funds this year to focus on the prevention of a terrorist attack and enhancing security at vulnerable targets through the LETP while at the same time we have funds to continue our preparedness efforts through the SHSP.?

Gov. Henry, through OKOHS, has set the following four priorities for the State Homeland Security Program:

  • Interoperable Communications: A statewide interoperable communications system is being designed and implemented. The system will be 700 / 800 MHZ frequency band, APCO Project 25 compliant and consistent with new federal communications standards.
  • Regional Response System: These funds will be used for the completion of the statewide weapon of mass destruction regional response trailers.
  • Tribal Collaboration: Funds awarded in this area are for the purchase of equipment to help local governments and tribes coordinate their homeland security efforts.
  • Response Equipment: Responders from all disciplines can use these funds o purchase authorized equipment needed for their homeland security efforts.

?We know there isn?t enough money to solve every problem facing Oklahoma responders. However, these federal funds will be used to address some of the state?s most pressing problems, including interoperable communications,? said OKOHS Director Pettingill.

?Whether it?s fire, EMS, police or emergency management, all Oklahoma responders need to be able to talk to one another at a scene. That means new towers, radios and one system throughout the state.?

Local law enforcement agencies can apply for the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention funds. The money will be used to facilitate information-sharing between agencies through a statewide network and to increase security at local sites.

A portion of the funds will also be used to enhance the Medical Reserve Corps program and Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) across Oklahoma. Both programs are being coordinated through Oklahoma Emergency Management as part of Citizens Corps.

The deadline for agencies to apply for 2004 Subgrant Programs is May 21, 2004. Applications and instructions are posted on the OKOHS website on the GRANTS page or by calling 405-425-7296.

To date, OKOHS has received more than $60 million from ODP. In 2003, local governments used a majority of those funds to purchase equipment for responders.