SPRINGFIELD, Ill.— Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the approval of $22 million in Homeland Security grants for specialized vehicles, equipment and training that will help the state’s Homeland Security regions respond to possible acts of terrorism in their areas.
“One of my top priorities since taking office has been to ensure that every part of this state has the tools to react to a terrorist attack. No one can second-guess the mind of a terrorist or where they might strike,” said Governor Blagojevich. “These grants will help emergency responders throughout the state get the vehicles, equipment and training they must have to respond to an event anywhere within their region and, in fact, anywhere in the state if needed.”
Funding for the grants comes from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through the Illinois Terrorism Task Force (ITTF,) the state’s coordinating body for terrorism preparedness. The $22 million award includes $18 million in Homeland Security Regional Grants allocated by the ITTF, representing up to $1 million each for 18 of the state’s 19 Homeland Security regions. In addition, Chicago, Cook County and both METRA and the CTA receive more than $39 million combined in Urban Area Security Initiative funding as a direct Congressional appropriation to the nation’s largest cities. Today’s announced grants also include $4 million for Local Law Enforcement Grants, which are administered by the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System (ILEAS), the state’s law enforcement mutual aid association.
Local committees in each of the Homeland Security regions conducted a strategic risk and vulnerability assessment and completed a plan that included up to $1 million in specialized vehicles, equipment and training. The major categories approved by the ITTF for these grants include:
- $2 million for mobile command posts
- $5 million for hazardous materials/decontamination trailers and movers
- $5 million for radios and communications systems
- $2 million for mobile data communications
- $3 million for Personal Protective Equipment
- $1 million for improving the resistance of critical infrastructure
- $3.5 million for other equipment categories
The assigned counties are expected to receive the approved vehicles and equipment within the next few months. While assigned to particular counties, the equipment is designated for use within that Homeland Security region and may be deployed to another region of the state as circumstances dictate.