CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today reminded city and county officials that the State of Illinois has earmarked federal terrorism money to reimburse cities and counties for the extraordinary costs related to increased security levels at threat level Orange.
“The state is taking this alert very seriously and is closely monitoring all key infrastructure throughout Illinois,” Governor Blagojevich said. “We also want to help local authorities do the same with their critical infrastructure by making certain that mayors and county board chairmen know that money is available to help them implement additional security or preventative measures while at this heightened level of alert.”
Blagojevich noted that authorities in every region of the state recently completed a risk and vulnerability assessment for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and that part of that assessment process included identifying critical infrastructure. He also pointed out that the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) web site (www.state.il.us/iema) contains a guide for counties and municipalities that includes a general checklist of security measures and preventative actions that those jurisdictions might want to consider at each threat level.
“Securing our critical infrastructure and protecting our citizens is a team effort that includes all levels of government,” Blagojevich said.
The reimbursement program at Orange is specifically for items such as overtime for police, fire, emergency management and public health personnel. The eligible reimbursement period only includes the dates that the country is at the Orange threat level, which was implemented at noon on December 21. Local jurisdictions are required to document the additional costs, including justification for specific infrastructure protection. Reimbursement forms or additional information are available by contacting the Illinois Terrorism Task Force at (217) 558-1334.