WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins, Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Community, today announced that Maine will receive more than $2.8 million from various grant programs administered by the Department of Homeland Security. Top awards include more than $1 million to the city of Portland and nearly $50,000 to Bar Harbor from the DHS Port Security Grant Program, designed to give key ports necessary resources to help prevent, prepare for, and respond to acts of terrorism such as weapons of mass destruction or improvised explosive devices.
Since the Port Security Grant Program began, Maine has received nearly $12.3 million in grant awards. The DHS administers the program and awards grants annually. The SAFE Port Act, which was co-authored by Senator Collins, increased the authorized funding for this important program.
“These targeted grants will help fund anti-terror safeguards, increasing the security of our ports and helping protect the seacoast communities and infrastructure of Maine,” said Senator Collins. “The funds build upon our nation’s strategy of creating a layered security system will enable first-responders to react rapidly to whatever emergencies may arise.”
In addition to the Port Security grants, , the state of Maine will receive three grant awards totaling nearly $1.3 million, including $800,667 under the Drivers License Security Grant Program, $200,000 under the Buffer Zone Protection Program and $267,000 under the Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program. The latter grant represents a nearly 10 percent increase over last year’s grant from this program, created as part of homeland security legislation authored in 2007 by Senator Collins and Senator Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn. Interoperable communications grants are designed to synchronize the various emergency communications systems of all first-responders, allowing personnel to have ready access, in real time, to the same developing information and to be able to share critical data from different jurisdictions.
Somerset County will also receive $500,000 for its Emergency Operations Center and Isherwood Enterprises, also known as Custom Coach and Limousine, will receive $48,775 under the Intercity Bus Security Grant Program.
“These grants provide critical resources for first-responders serving our local communities,” Senator Collins said. “Maine’s lengthy international border, its various ports, expansive coastline, and proximity to major population centers such as New York and Boston require us to be prepared for a variety of emergencies – from terrorism to natural hazards to pandemics. This funding will boost Maine’s first-responder capacity and overall preparedness.”
The Maine grant awards are among $790 million in awards announced nationwide Thursday. The money is being provided through nine separate DHS preparedness and infrastructure protection grant programs, which are designed to assist state, local and tribal governments and the private sector in strengthening national preparedness for acts of terrorism, major disasters and other emergencies.