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  • Homeland Security Funds

    TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Arizona will divvy up more than $28 million
    in federal homeland security grants, most going to county
    governments, with Pima County getting the largest chunk, Gov. Janet
    Napolitano said Wednesday.
    The governor said the federal money, provided to her office, is
    being allocated among the state and 15 counties using a formula set
    by Napolitano's statewide homeland security plan.
    First responders - typically law enforcement and fire protection
    - will be able to use the money to buy equipment like gas masks,
    hazardous materials suits and vehicles, and to pay for new
    communications capabilities, personnel and specialized training.
    Napolitano said the infusion of $28 million "is a huge step
    forward" in the homeland security effort.
    "We looked at factors in allocating those moneys like
    population, vulnerability, the presence of critical infrastructure
    such as bridges, dams and utilities, and then proximity to the
    border," the governor said.
    It's the first time that border proximity "has been used as a
    factor with which to weigh the distribution of homeland security
    moneys," she said.
    She cited another first: Pima County will receive the largest
    individual share of any Arizona county, $3.2 million, versus $2.9
    million for Maricopa County, to assist in homeland security
    efforts.
    "Maricopa's not real happy about it, either," the governor
    deadpanned. "But it really makes sense when you step back and look
    at it."
    Including previous homeland security allocations to the counties
    since 2001, the total allocated to Pima County is $6.5 million, she
    said, while Maricopa County's total is $7.5 million.
    The governor said the state's homeland security plan assigned
    particular importance to the border because of the flow of people
    and materials back and forth.
    "And so that was added as a weighting factor to population,"
    she said.
    That meant all four border counties benefited, she said. Santa
    Cruz County will receive $1,060,928; Yuma County $985,653; and
    Cochise County $980,770.
    The latter three, small-population counties, have major
    responsibilities with respect to Arizona's security because they're
    right at the border, where the state's ports of entry are located,
    Napolitano said.
    In all, the state is giving Arizona's counties $16.3 million of
    the federal grant money. It will keep another $3.5 million to
    establish a statewide, round-the-clock intelligence and information
    analysis center, and will retain and use $3.8 million as an
    overtime expenditures fund, Napolitano said.
    In addition, $4.1 million will be awarded for training and
    purchase of equipment for statewide law enforcement agencies, and
    another $400,000 will be divided evenly among Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa
    and Glendale.
    That money will be used for Metropolitan Medical Rapid Response
    teams that can respond statewide to large-scale medical
    emergencies, and also for the purchase of hazardous materials
    equipment.
    "Homeland security is not just about terrorism," Napolitano
    said. "Every expenditure, every dollar we spend in this arena has
    multiple uses," whether in detecting a virus or in responding to a
    disaster like a major forest fire.
    "Any time you get a financial injection like this, it's
    important to the community," said Pima County Supervisor Dan
    Eckstrom.
    ---
    On the Net:
    Governor's Office: http://www.governor.state.az.us/

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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