- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 2, 2002

U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft yesterday announced that nine cities and states across the country, including Maryland, will receive nearly $17 million in grants to bolster domestic-terrorism preparedness and security.
The Justice Department plans to announce awards for additional cities and states over the next several months.
"Courageous local police, firefighters and [emergency medical technicians] were first on the scene in the horror of September 11, and many others like them will be first on the scene of any future attack," Mr. Ashcroft said. "These grant funds demonstrate the administration's commitment to equipping those on the domestic front lines our state and local emergency first responders to respond to terrorist attacks.
"The grants are an important part of our fight against terrorism and representative of the federal, state and local cooperation necessary to win that fight," he said.
Maryland's grant to the State Emergency Management Agency, through the Justice Department's Office for Domestic Preparedness, totals $2.7 million.
The funds will be used to purchase specialized equipment for emergency-response agencies including law enforcement personnel, fire and emergency medical services, and hazardous-materials response units who would respond first to terrorist acts.
Justice officials said all 50 states, the territories and the District will receive funds through the program to purchase a wide array of gear, such as personal protective equipment; chemical, biological or radiological detection equipment; chemical, biological or radiological decontamination gear; and communications devices.
To qualify for funding, the states, territories and the District first had to conduct a comprehensive assessment of risk, capabilities and needs related to a potential terrorist attack; and develop a multiyear Statewide Domestic Preparedness Strategy that guides their spending of the funds.
Other grant recipients include: Iowa Department of Public Defense, $1.7 million; Ohio Department of Public Safety, $5.4 million; Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, $2.9 million; Washington State Domestic Preparedness Military Department, $2.9 million; Huntsville, Ala., $310,000; Mobile, Ala., $280,000; Stockton, Calif., $280,000; and Knoxville, Tenn., $310,000.
Jerry Seper

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