Governor Greg Abbott yesterday announced $61.2 million in Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) funding to support state and local efforts to prevent terrorism and prepare for the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk to the security of Texas and its citizens. The awards, released primarily to cities and counties across Texas, include 264 projects under the State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) and 136 projects through the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) which are components of the HSGP.
“As Governor, my top priority is keeping our communities safe,” said Governor Abbott. “These grants will ensure our communities have the resources they need to counter terrorism statewide and enhance security for all Texans. Our ongoing efforts to keep Texas safe would not be possible without our partnership with the federal government, and I thank them for their continued assistance.”
These grant awards invest in core capabilities outlined in the National Preparedness Goal and serve to strengthen Texas’ ability to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from terrorism and other catastrophic events. Those capabilities include:
- Special Response Teams and First Responder Capabilities: $24.3 million to provide equipment, training, and exercise support for local, regional, and state level response teams such as SWAT, Bomb, HAZMAT, Search and Rescue (SAR), and for other law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services personnel that serve communities across the state.
- State, Regional & Local Planning: $13.4 million to support state-wide planning and preparedness efforts that provide the foundation for effective homeland security capability development and implementation in Texas.
- Interoperable Emergency Communications: $8.3 million to sustain and enhance operational communications capabilities which facilitates information sharing and effective coordination essential for the successful response to all types of threats and hazards.
- Fusion Centers: $3.2 million to support state and regional fusion centers thereby promoting ongoing intelligence and information sharing capabilities and the analysis, production and exchange of critical threat data between federal, state, and local partners.
The Governor’s Homeland Security Grants Division (HSGD) administers both the SHSP and UASI grant programs in coordination with the 24 regional Councils of Governments (COGs) in Texas and the Urban Area Working Groups (UAWGs) in Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington, Houston and San Antonio. All projects funded flow from risk assessments and planning processes that serve to identify capability gaps and foster coordination among agencies across the five mission areas (prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery). The HSGP is open to state, tribal, and local jurisdictions statewide. Agencies interested in seeking funds to support their terrorism preparedness initiatives during the next grant cycle for FY 2020 should reach out to the homeland security personnel at their local COG to learn about region specific timelines and requirements.