NW Colorado gets $2 million for security | CraigDailyPress.com

NW Colorado gets $2 million for security

Gov. Bill Owens announced a $2 million homeland security and terrorism prevention grant for Northwest Colorado on Thursday.

The Northwest Colorado All-Hazards Emergency Man–age–ment Region, which is composed of 10 counties including Moffat and Routt counties, received $2,132,819 to benefit law enforcement and first responders.

The governor’s office, through the Department of Local Affairs, awarded $19,595,281 statewide to nine AHEMRs.

According to a DOLA news release, the Northwest AHEMR will use the award for a variety of equipment, including an emergency generator, personal protective equipment and several explosives tents.

Funding for Northwest Colorado’s grant came from three sources, with the state’s Homeland Security Grant Program contributing the largest portion, $1,811,630. The Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program contributed $301,789, and Citizen Corp. contributed $19,400.

The Northwestern AHEMR’s grant will not be divided among the counties, instead, according to DOLA spokeswoman Deborah Smith, the counties will share the funds.

There is not a “magic, quantified formula” for dividing the funds, Smith said. “They all come together and work collectively as a group.”

The funds are often used for materials the counties will share, such as heavy equipment, Smith said.

To obtain the grant monies from DOLA, local law enforcement and first responders make a proposal to their AHEMR, which makes a proposal to the state All-Hazards Grants Advisory Committee, which makes a recommendation to Governor Owens.

DOLA is the state’s grant administering authority.

Smith said the proposals “must meet very exact state guidelines.”

Chuck Vale, emergency man–age–ment director for Routt County and the vice chairman for the Northwestern AHEMR, said one of the requests for Northwest Colorado was for new breathing apparatuses for firefighters in Routt county. The Northwestern AHEMR received some, but not all of the funding for the apparatuses.

Vale said distributing the funds under the banner of homeland security and terrorism makes regions think of the bigger, regional picture.

“It makes us ask how do we protect all the first responders in the region?” Vale said.

Moffat County Emergency Management Coordinator Larry Dalton could not be reached for comment.

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