Bay law enforcement to get $8 million in homeland security funds
The Department of Homeland Security is giving more than $8 million to Tampa Bay area law enforcement to upgrade communications systems, Congresswoman Kathy Castor announced today. The $7.8 million grant is from the Urban Areas Security Initiative and FEMA. Nationwide, the Department of Homeland Security has earmarked about $800 million to 62 high-threat, high-density urban areas. The money is designed to help communities prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from terrorist attacks. The Tampa Police Department will use the money to finish updating radio communications systems so law enforcement agencies in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties can communicate seamlessly, assistant police Chief Jane Castor said in a written statement. Other cities in Florida will receive:$2.2 million through the Metropolitan Medical Response System. The funding will better enable agencies to prepare for and respond to a mass casualty in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Orlando, Miami, Jacksonville, Hialeah and Fort Lauderdale. $34.1 million through the State Homeland Security Program to implement homeland security strategies, such as preventing and recovering from terrorist or other catastrophic events. $630,795 through the Citizen Corps Program, which will enable community and government leaders to engage residents in community preparedness, response and recovery activities. $1.2 million through the Urban Areas Security Initiative Nonprofit Security Grant Program. Tampa will receive $75,000. The money will be used to strengthen nonprofit organizations at high risk for a terrorist attack. $173,000 for the Seminole Tribe through the State Homeland Security Program, to help the tribe prepare and respond to threats.