Jun 16 2004

SHELBY ANNOUNCES HOMELAND SECURITY FUNDING FOR ALABAMA

WASHINGTON, DC -- U. S. Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced funding for several projects included in the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2005. The bill passed out of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee today and is expected to be voted on by the full Appropriations Committee tomorrow.

Center For Domestic Preparedness - $55 Million

Sen. Shelby said, "I am pleased the Subcommittee has agreed that the Center for Domestic Preparedness at Ft. McClellan is the cornerstone of our nation's emergency responder training facilities. The funding included in this legislation will allow the Center 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 the Center for Domestic Preparedness to prevent and respond to incidents of domestic terrorism."

"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 - $700 Million

Sen. Shelby said, "Our bill includes $700 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 - $325 Million

Sen. Shelby said, “I am pleased our bill provides $150 million for rail and transit security grants, $150 for port security grants, $15 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. I am pleased that our bill includes $5 million to assist NCMEC with their work within the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and an additional $2.1 to compliment their efforts with the U.S. Secret Service.

- 30 -