Dept of Homeland Security Announces $600M for First Responders

Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge announced today that nearly $600 million has been made available to the states and U.S. territories to better assist state and local public safety and law enforcement personnel to help them prevent, prepare and respond to terrorism.

"This money is an important step in getting the states and localities better prepared to deal with potential terrorist incidents. This investment will create new capabilities to protect us against terrorism and it will integrate traditional security functions in a new and better way. Together with the help of our brave men and women in uniform, we will continue the hard work to defend and protect our nation from harm," said Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge.

Secretary Ridge wrote to the Governors of the states and territories on Monday, March 3 to provide program guidelines and offer instructions for filing the grant applications. Application forms for grant awards will be posted on the web at by Friday, March 7 and states will have until April 22, 2003 to complete and submit their applications. Once the application is submitted, a review will be completed and the states will be notified of the status within 7 days. When approved, funds will be available within three weeks thereafter.

As of March 1, the Office for Domestic Preparedness transferred from the Department of Justice in to the Department of Homeland Security. Assistance to state and local jurisdictions in the form of risk and needs assessments, equipment grants, training, exercise support and technical assistance will be the program's top priorities.

Since 1998, the Office for Domestic Preparedness (ODP) has been engaged with the states and U.S. territories in the ongoing effort to better handle terrorist incidents. Assistance available from ODP to the states has increased from $12 million in 1998 to nearly $600 million in the current fiscal year.

For a breakdown of funding by state, view the ODP grants chart.