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State receives funds for defense against terrorism

The Department of Justice announced Tuesday the state is slated to receive $2,400 to enhance its ability to respond to acts of terrorism involving biological or chemical agents or nuclear, radiological or explosive materials.

"Courageous local police, firefighters and EMTs were first on the scene in the horror of September 11, and many others like them will be first on the scene of any future attack. This grant demonstrates the Administration's commitment to equipping those on the domestic front lines, our state and local emergency first responders, to respond to terrorist attacks," said Attorney General John Ashcroft. "This grant is an important part of our nation's fight against terrorism, and representative of the federal, state and local cooperation necessary for us to win that fight."

The funds, awarded by Department's Office of Justice Programs (JP), will be used to purchase specialized equipment for emergency response agencies, including law enforcement personnel, fire and emergency medical services and hazardous materials response units, who are the first responders to terrorist attacks involving weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The grant is awarded under the FY 2001 State Domestic Preparedness Equipment Program, administered by OJP's Office for Domestic Preparedness (ODP).

Using ODP funding, all 50 states, the territories, and the District of Columbia can purchase a wide array of equipment including personal protective equipment, chemical,.biological or radiological detection equipment; chemical, biological or radiological decontamination equipment; and communications equipment.

To qualify for funding, states, territories and the District of Columbia first had to conduct a assessment of risk, capabilities and needs related to a potential terrorist attack, and develop a multi-year Statewide Domestic Preparedness Strategy.

States will use their statewide strategies to guide their spending of these funds.

The Office for Domestic Preparedness (ODP) was established in Fiscal Year 1998 and is the Justice Department's primary program office responsible for enhancing the capacity of state and local jurisdictions to respond to incidents of domestic terrorism.

Fore more information on the Office of Domestic Preparedness (ODP) and other OJP programs, please see OJP's web site at www.ojp.usdoj.gov.