Oct 09 2004


Homeland Security Conference Report Approved

U. S. Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), a member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, announced funding for several projects included in the conference report to accompany H.R. 4567, the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2005. House and Senate conferees approved the conference report today, which will now go the Senate and House of Representatives for consideration.

Center For Domestic Preparedness - $55 Million

Sen. Shelby said, “I am pleased conferees agreed that the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) at Ft. McClellan is the cornerstone of our nation's emergency responder training facilities. The funding included in this legislation will allow CDP to increase its training capacity for first responders so that we may respond to terrorist attacks quickly and effectively. These first responders include law enforcement personnel, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel who are trained by CDP to prevent and respond to incidents of domestic terrorism.”

“In fiscal year 2004, CDP trained over 50,000 first responders, and expects to train 60,000 more by the end of fiscal year 2005. In addition to training our nation’s local first responders, CDP works closely with a number of federal agencies including the Department of Agriculture (USDA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and others to develop new integrated counter-terrorism training programs.”

“Since the September 11, 2001 attacks on our country, the importance of first responders has become evident. Ft. McClellan's Center for Domestic Preparedness provides the necessary training for professionals to rapidly respond and react to terrorist attacks,” Shelby concluded.

Firefighter Assistance Grants - $715 Million

Sen. Shelby said, "The conference report includes $715 million for Firefighter Assistance Grants. These funds will assist local fire departments in their efforts to protect the health and safety of the public and firefighting personnel against fire and fire-related hazards, and to provide assistance for fire prevention programs."

These funds are administered by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Domestic Preparedness. Funds can be used for such things as fire operations, firefighter safety programs, emergency medical services, and firefighting vehicles.

Transportation Security grants - $315 Million

Sen. Shelby said, “I am pleased the conference report provides $150 million for rail, freight, and transit security grants; $150 for port security grants; $5 million for the Highway Watch grant program; and $10 million for inter-city bus security grants. I believe these funds are crucial in our efforts to improve homeland security. We have made great strides in improving our nation’s aviation security, but Americans deserve to have the government’s full attention devoted to the security of every mode of transportation.”

These funds will be administered by the Office of the State and Local Government Preparedness and Coordination within the Department of Homeland Security.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children - $7.1 Million

Sen. Shelby said, “The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) provides services nationwide for families and professionals to help prevent the abduction, endangerment, and sexual exploitation of children. NCMEC is an invaluable organization for the safety and security of our nation’s children. Specifically, these funds will be used to assist NCMEC with their work with the U.S. Secret Service.