DHS to provide $2.2 billion in e-grants

State and local first responders can apply for the latest round of federal funding online, the Department of Homeland Security announced this week.

The $2.2 billion in new first-responder funding, which was allocated to the department from the fiscal 2004 budget, will be distributed online as part of three programs: the State Homeland Security Program, Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program and the Citizen Corps.

Under the new e-grant system, state administrative agencies apply with one application form online as part of the Homeland Security Grant Program, thus streamlining the process with which the department distributes the funds to state government.

"No longer will our state and local partners have to go to different places within the department to apply for [anti-]terrorism-related funding. It ensures that nationwide, homeland security officials have one place where they can tap into the resources as well as the information they need," said Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge.

States are required to distribute 80 percent of their awarded funds to local governments.

In addition to the single application, DHS is launching an interagency grants and training link on its Web site, which provides information on homeland security and public safety grant opportunities offered by DHS and other federal departments and agencies, including the Justice Department, Health and Human Services Department and Environmental Protection Agency.

The six largest grants are:

  • $176 million to California

  • $115 million to Texas

  • $103 million to New York

  • $92 million to Florida

  • $74 million to Illinois

  • $72 million to Pennsylvania.

  • The state and local homeland security funding, which constitutes $1.7 billion of the new funding, goes to help state and local public safety and law enforcement personnel pay for planning, training, equipment, exercises and other costs associated with enhancing the capabilities on a state and local level to prevent, respond to and recover from terrorist attacks.

    Since March 1, DHS has allocated or awarded more than $6 billion in grants to first responders, the department said.

    About the Author

    William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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