Tonawanda News — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the state will receive more than $185 million in grants for homeland security, including nearly $1 million in funds that will go toward Erie and Niagara counties.
"From September 11 to Superstorm Sandy, our first responders and local law enforcement agencies have been essential to protecting New Yorkers and keeping our communities safe," Cuomo, a Democrat, said. "These grants are vital to supporting their work."
As part of the awards, Erie County will receive $299,065 as part of a public safety answering point grant for the county 911 systems.
"This funding covers improvements and enhancements to merge these 911-styled public safety answering systems, as well as fund the implementation of new technologies that facilitate data sharing, greater operating efficiencies and foster regional consolidation," the statement from the governor's office reads.
Niagara County will receive $82,387 to cover reimbursements for the 911 systems.
Erie County will receive $351,834 and Niagara County will get $86,693 as part of the emergency management performance grant, which is used to support emergency management staff positions, as well as equipment purchases, exercise activities, planning and training.
Erie County will also obtain $172,000 to sustain and build on its hazardous materials response capabilities. $2 million will also be allocated to 12 local bomb squads, including Erie County's team.
Cuomo also announced other grant opportunities that have not been awarded yet. Local government and law enforcement agencies will be able to apply for $500,000 that will made available statewide as part of the Explosive Detective Canine Team Grant Program, as well as another $500,000 that will be awarded to enhance security at infrastructure sites and special events, among other grants.
The funding for these programs was made available by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Urban Areas Security Initiative grant and the Emergency Management Performance Grant.