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  • State/County Homeland Security Funds

    I found out this morning that the State is coming in to do an audit of how our county spent Homeland Security Funds over the past two years.

    These funds are the Federal funds distributed to the various States. The State Offices then distribute them to the counties and the county spends them.

    We have an interesting situation in how monies have been distributed and I was hoping someone might be able to point me to some program guidance that might help us decide if this is going to be a problem or not.

    When these funds became available originally, the Sheriff and Police Chief went to the County Emergency Service guy and told him that they would each get 25% of the total. The fire and ambulance folks in the county could fight over the rest. If the Sheriff or Police Chief feels like they have a worthwhile project (in their opinion) that needs more funds, they dip into the money set aside for fire and ambulance.

    Here is our question, does this distribution scheme meet the standards that the Federal government intended for this program? If it does not, is it enough of a violation that the fire and ambulance folks will lose the little bit of money that trickles our way too? Or would they just shut off the funds to the Sheriff and Police Departments?

  • #2
    Seems that every state has been/is doing it differently.

    Here in Iowa we have totally incompetent massive nonsense with the programs. Fighting at the state level in who should get how much, and "more importantly" how much the state Emergency Mgt can keep to run their pet project. In FY03, in Iowa, a portion was allocated to each FD to purchase what we needed. The consolidated shopping list was then bid thru state contracts. Took about 18 months to get the thing done. Now Iowa is still trying to figure out how to spend remaining FY04 $. And just getting started on FY05$.

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    • #3
      The true Homeland Security funds are put in charge of the State Administrative Agency, designated by the state. This is the lone agent that can request the HS funds for projects that are brought to the table.

      So basically, as long as the money is spent within the confines of the HS program's purposes then anyone can get their hands on it if they can convince the SAA. Some state's have set up a hierarchy to spread it out over the whole state instead of just a few major areas. So there are layers of politics to wade through to get at the dough.

      As long as the money is spent on the right things, DHS doesn't seem to care how it is being done. So if the cops want to take all of it, and they've been put in charge of it, then that's kosher. The idea is to get together as a region and make plans for improvement on all fronts.
      Brian P. Vickers
      www.vickersconsultingservices.com
      Emergency Services Consulting
      Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
      Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

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