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OKLAHOMA HOMELAND SECURITY EFFORTS WILL FOCUS ON PREVENTION IN 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - February 22, 2005
Oklahoma City - The Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security (OKOHS), in conjunction with the office of Gov. Brad Henry, today announced its plan for allocating Fiscal Year 2005 grant funds awarded to the State from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Director Kerry Pettingill said the federal funds will be used to supplement a number of current projects as well as assist in preventing a terrorist attack, reducing Oklahoma's vulnerability to an attack and preparing to respond and recover if an attack should occur.
"Last fall, we asked responders to provide input into what their priorities would be for the FY05 grant funds," said Pettingill. "Overwhelmingly, they told us they need funds to assist with planning efforts; they need to be able to communicate with each other; they need to exercise together with the equipment they've purchased over the last several years and they need to be properly trained on that same equipment. We listened and determined this year's funding priorities accordingly."
DHS awarded OKOHS approximately $29.9 million for the following six programs:
The EMPG and Citizen Corps funds will be passed directly through OKOHS to the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM). The MMRS and UASI funds will also be obligated directly to those programs leaving roughly $21 million for OKOHS to allocate to homeland security projects.
"The three objectives of the Office of Homeland Security are to prevent, reduce the vulnerability to and prepare to respond and recover from any terrorist attack,¿ said Gov. Henry. "The office has made great strides in the area of response and recovery by providing millions of dollars worth of equipment to Oklahoma firefighters, law enforcement officers, emergency medical technicians and emergency management agencies. Now is the time to focus on prevention and reducing the State's vulnerabilities. That will be our focus in 2005."
A majority of the 2005 award - more than $12 million - will be dedicated to expanding the statewide interoperable communication system.
"Interoperable communication continues to be a major obstacle during an emergency," said Pettingill."Last year we allocated more than $15 million toward the statewide communication system and I am pleased we can make another substantial contribution toward the project this year. Responders are asking for an interoperable radio system and we want to provide one - a system that can be utilized by responders of all disciplines."
The SHSP funds will be obligated to several projects directly impacting local responders in every region of the state. Examples include: $980,000 for the Department of Agriculture to purchase mobile cleaning and disinfecting units (placed in local communities) as well as a mobile laboratory; $1 million for training; $500,000 for exercises; $1 million to assist planning efforts including implementing various plans associated with the National Response Plan (NRP) and $473,853 to continue developing a statewide credentialing program. Another $1 million will be dedicated to cybersecurity and the protection of state databases.
OKOHS will dedicate approximately $2.75 million of the LETP funds to the protection of critical infrastructure sites across the state reducing the vulnerability of those sites to attack. LETP funds will also be used to expand the Oklahoma Automated Secure Information Sharing (OASIS) network. OASIS is a computer-based network that will combine several law enforcement databases into one single portal to allow for increased information sharing between local law enforcement agencies. The primary mission of OASIS is to combat terrorism and other major crimes while protecting the privacy of Oklahoma citizens. Roughly $800,000 of the FY05 award will be allocated to OASIS.
State of Oklahoma
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