Jul 18 2002


Committee Approves Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations

U. S. Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), member of the Senate Appropriations Committee announced the approval of funding for a number of important Alabama projects.

Sen. Shelby said, "This year's bill provides significant funding for projects throughout Alabama. These projects were recognized for their success-either in aiding law enforcement and crime fighters or preparing our public safety officials in Alabama and nationwide."

Center For Domestic Preparedness - $50 million
Sen. Shelby said, "The committee has agreed that the National Center for Domestic Preparedness is the cornerstone of our nations' emergency responder training facilities. The $50 million included in this legislation will allow the Center to increase its maximum training capacity, so that we may respond to terrorist attacks quickly and effectively."

"This level of funding is extremely important because it will allow the Center to increase its training and train 15,000 first responders a year. 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.

"In times like these, the importance of first responders becomes evident. The professionals trained at Ft. McClellan's Center for Domestic Preparedness are trained to respond and react to terrorist attacks."

University of South Alabama - Youth Violence Prevention Research - $500,000
Sen. Shelby said, "The funding provided in this legislation will allow the University of South Alabama, in conjunction with the Alabama Department of Youth Services, to conduct a research service project targeted at reducing juvenile violence and crime. The project will involve the creation and evaluation of juvenile justice programs and will focus on programs targeted toward rural areas where the largest percentage of increases in juvenile crime have occurred in recent years."

National Fatherhood Initiative - $3 million
Sen. Shelby said, "This bill provides $3 million for the National Fatherhood Initiative. This project will study the causes and consequences of out-of-wedlock childbirth, including the impact illegitimacy has on criminal activity and welfare dependence. The funds will also be used to develop and promote pro-family practices as a solution to these problems. The Initiative's work will be conducted by a consortium which includes: the National Fatherhood Institute, the National Physicians Center for Family Resources, and the Alabama Policy Institute."

University of South Alabama, Mobile Bay Oyster Recovery Program - $1 million
Sen. Shelby said, "The University of South Alabama, in cooperation with the Alabama Department of Conservation, will use the $1 million included in this legislation to continue the work that began as a result of last year's funding to conduct surveys and work on the reseeding program in Mobile Bay. The program will attempt to restore productive oyster reefs in areas that have experienced reef loss due to environmental and harvesting factors. A resurgence of the oyster beds will significantly impact the water quality and clarity in Mobile Bay, as well as assist the Bay in fostering survival of sea grass meadows and marine species such as blue crab, sea trouts, and some snappers and grouper."

Gulf of Mexico Oyster Initiative - $1 million
Sen. Shelby said, "These funds will allow this program to continue efforts to grow and strengthen the American shellfish industry."


Auburn University, National Textile Center - $10 million
Sen. Shelby said, "This legislation provides $10 million for Auburn University's National Textile Center. The Center trains textile industry engineers and scientists, and conducts state-of-the-art research projects. The continued work of the Center is essential for the U.S. textile industry to maintain its global competitiveness."

Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program - $106 million
Sen. Shelby said, "This bill provides $106 million for the ongoing efforts of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program (MEP). The MEP continues to be a success story by partnering federal, state, public and private partners. MEP assists small and mid-sized American manufacturers in modernization efforts so that they may compete in the global marketplace."

Regional Information Sharing System (RISS) - $28.278 million
Sen. Shelby said, "The Regional Information Sharing System program provides funds to maintain six regionally-based information sharing centers which allow for information and intelligence services to be disseminated nationwide addressing major, multi-jurisdictional crimes. This legislation provides $28.278 million to maintain these important databases. This is an important crime fighting tool for local law enforcement agencies."

Jefferson County Communications System - $1.5 million
Sen. Shelby said, "This bill provides funding for Jefferson County, Alabama to upgrade their current 15-year old public safety radio system. I am confident this will directly impact emergency response time."

Jefferson County Outdoor Siren Emergency Warning System - $1.5 million
Sen. Shelby said, "This year's bill also provides funding for an upgrade to Jefferson County's one-way radio activation system. The upgrade will expand the system to a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCDA) system and will expand the Outdoor Siren Emergency Warning System with additional sirens to assure adequate coverage. These improvements will allow the county to be constantly aware of the status of all remote siren equipment prior to an attempt to activate the siren system. The upgrade is necessary to ensure that all residents are aware of impending danger."

Birmingham Police Department Forensic Laboratory Enhancement - $400,000
Sen. Shelby said, "These funds will allow the Birmingham Police Department to update their ability to process biological evidence. The update will better protect police evidence and will increase the department's ability to identify offenders."

Choctaw County Emergency Warning Notification System - $200,000
Sen. Shelby said, "Choctaw County is in desperate need of an updated system for emergency warning. These funds will allow them to upgrade their system throughout each of their 10 population areas."

The City of Montgomery's Riverfront District Community Policing Initiative - $250,000
Sen. Shelby said, "This funding will allow Montgomery to establish Riverfront District Community Policing Stations for the Riverwalk and the park systems."

Huntsville Police Headquarters Technology Upgrade - $350,000
Sen. Shelby said, "This funding will allow Huntsville to upgrade all forms of technology important to its law enforcement. Specifically, the police headquarters and stations will be able to access all the state and federal databases and information-sharing networks."

Birmingham Educational Technology Center - $500,000
Sen. Shelby said, "These funds will provide short-term and long-term training and tutoring to help 'at-risk' and economically disadvantaged individuals prepare for gainful employment and further education."

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children - $12.5 million
Sen. Shelby said, "For many years, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has served as the National Missing Children's clearinghouse and resource center. In this capacity, the Center has helped to locate thousands of missing children and has coordinated with law enforcement agencies throughout the nation to develop protocols for preventing child abduction and abuse. Furthermore, the Center has been instrumental in raising national awareness of child safety issues. It effectively combines public and private resources in support of one of the most important policy initiatives: the protection of our nation's children. In light of the work the Center tirelessly performs, I believe it is essential that the Center continue receiving this critical funding--funding which will further enhance the Center's capabilities by providing greater budgetary stability."

Jimmy Ryce Law Enforcement Training Center - $3 million
Sen. Shelby said, "This bill also provides $3.0 million for the Center for Missing and Exploited Children's law enforcement training center. The Jimmy Ryce Training Center utilizes innovative and comprehensive investigative techniques that are vital to law enforcement agencies. The work of the training center goes hand-in-hand with the work of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children by training local law enforcement in the ways to investigate missing and exploited children."