Senate Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Susan Collins today announced that Maine will receive a total of $11.1 million under the State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP) and Operation Stonegarden grant programs administered by the Department of Homeland Security.
SHSGP provides funding to state and local governments for homeland security-related planning, training, equipment, and exercises. This year, Maine will receive $6.1 million under this program. Using her leadership position on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Senator Collins has worked to enhance, and sustain funding for, DHS grant programs. Last year’s homeland security law, co-authored by Senator Collins, increased authorized funding for this important program.
“This money will fund important prevention, protection, response, and recovery activities among first responders in our local communities. Maine’s long international border, its expansive coastline, and its proximity to major populations centers such as New York and Boston require the State to be prepared to stop terrorists before they strike, to train for all hazards, and to deal with looming threats such as a pandemic disease. I am pleased that this year’s funding is 60 percent higher than last year. This will provide a significant boost to the capabilities of first responders throughout Maine,” Senator Collins said.
Under Operation Stonegarden, Maine will be awarded $5 million. The federal funds can be used for personnel, equipment, and vehicle costs associated with joint border enforcement operations. In May, Sen. Collins sent a letter to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator David Paulison supporting Maine’s request for federal homeland security funding.
“Operation Stonegarden allows Maine’s local and state law enforcement agencies to work hand-in-hand with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to safeguard our border,” Sen. Collins said. “In the past, this grant program has led to successfully intercepting drug shipments and illegal immigrants attempting to cross the border between Maine and Canada. The continued funding will provide important resources needed to secure our border.”
In addition, Maine will receive more than $147,000 as part of the Department of Homeland Security’s Citizen Corps Program. Maine also received $1.7 million as part of the Port Security Grant Program and $242,000 under the Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program. Both programs were created under legislation authored by Sen. Collins. Combined with the funding for SHSGP, Operation Stonegarden, and other DHS programs, the total amount of federal homeland security funding received by Maine this year comes to nearly $18 million.