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Jim Guidry Commentaries
Harris County
Houston Mayor Annise Parker
News Release
Thursday, August 25, 2011

Houston Mayor Annise Parker welcomed news that the Houston area will receive more than $66M in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency. As part of the Fiscal Year 2011 Homeland Security Grant Program Allocations, the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grant will bring $41.4M and the Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) will bring $25M to the region.

“We take our role as a major U.S. city and hub for international trade very seriously. We are a safe city, but we want our emergency personnel to always be ready with the latest tools and training, which will come in part from these federal grants,” said Mayor Parker.

The UASI program provides financial assistance to address the unique planning, organization, equipment, training, and exercise needs of high-threat, high-density urban areas, and assists them in building an enhanced and sustainable capacity to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism.  Per the 9/11 Act, States are required to ensure that at least 25 percent of UASI-appropriated funds are dedicated to law enforcement terrorism prevention activities.

UASI is shared by the five-county region of Harris, FortBend, Montgomery, Brazoria and Galveston. The City of Houston’s $15M portion will fund:

  • Part of the new 700MH for radio system for the Houston Police and Fire Departments
  • Mobile data computers for police cars
  • A portion of the public safety video project
  • Equipment and training for police officers and fire fighters
  • Citizen preparedness programs
  • Analysts and equipment for the intelligence fusion center at the HoustonEmergencyCenter
  • Homeland security planning activities

The Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) finances transportation infrastructure security activities to implement Area Maritime Transportation Security Plans and facility security plans among port authorities, facility operators, and state and local government agencies required to provide port security services. The purpose of the FY 2011 PSGP is to support increased port-wide risk management; enhanced domain awareness; conduct training and exercises; expansion of port recovery and resiliency capabilities; and further capabilities to prevent, detect, respond to, and recover from attacks involving improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and other non-conventional weapons.

The PSGP award is shared with the jurisdictions and private industry along the Houston Ship Channel.  The City of Houston will receive about $3.8M of the PSGP funds, which will fund:

  • Helicopter maintenance and support for port operations
  • Commercial vehicle screening at the port
  • Video technology for helicopter operations
  • Marine dive equipment for HPD
  • Communication equipment for HFD

The City of Houston also received $1.2M from the Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program that will be used for planning and exercise of regional plans.

In addition, there are small amounts allotted for Houston in the state allocation of the Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) program, the State Homeland Security Program (SHSP), and the Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS) program.

Additional information is available at www.fema.gov/grants.






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