Saturday, December 4, 2004

Hawaii to get $23M
for homeland safety

The grants restore city protection
funds denied in 2003

Hawaii will receive more than $23 million in federal homeland security funding next year.

Outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said that the state will receive more than $16.6 million in grants for equipment, training and planning against potential acts of terrorism.

The Department of Homeland Security restored another $6.45 million in Urban Area Security Initiative funding for the upcoming fiscal year.

"These grants from the U.S. Office for Domestic Preparedness will further help ensure the safety of Hawaii from possible terrorist threat," said U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, a member of the Appropriations homeland security subcommittee.

The $16.6 million in federal funding was included in the recently approved Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill. The award amount was based partly on population size.

The grants included $10.68 million for the state's homeland security program, $3.88 million for a law enforcement terrorism prevention program, $1.74 million in emergency management performance grants, $227,592 for metropolitan medical response systems and $135,628 for a citizen corps program.

The $6.45 million UASI grant is for densely populated cities that are considered at high threat of attack.

Honolulu received about $6.87 million in UASI grants in 2003 but received no such funding in 2004, said U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka.

"The revocation of UASI funding to Honolulu in fiscal year 2003 was of great concern to me and the state of Hawaii," Akaka said.

He said there are a number of possible high-risk targets, including Honolulu Harbor and Pearl Harbor, that must be protected.

Honolulu was one of 50 cities across the nation selected for the urban grant. The cities will share some $854.6 million.

The federal funds are to be directed to state governments, which will then pass them on to the municipalities.

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