Homeland Security grant to help cities work together

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Shelby County EMA Director Don Greene is hoping a Department of Homeland Security grant will help enable local officials to work side-by-side more efficiently.

Green, who also served as the county&8217;s homeland security point of contact, and a number of Shelby County officials recently met with Alabama Homeland Security Director Jim Walker in Montgomery to lay out a spending program for grant dollars that the county will receive by the end of the 2006 fiscal year.

At the end of the year, Shelby County is expected to receive over $160,000 to spend on homeland security needs.

&8220;We will be able to enhance the capabilities that we already have, hazardous materials handling and decontamination,&8221; Greene said. &8220;We will also be able to enhance capabilities for law enforcement that they do not presently have in the county.&8221;

The grant proposal, which was agreed upon by county, city and local safety officials earlier this year, requires the purchase of interoperable communications equipment as well as decontamination and detection equipment to assist in county-wide homeland security efforts.

In addition to the grant expansions, Greene said the funds will also provide for anti-terrorism drills.

&8220;We are going to conduct a county-wide weapons of mass destruction exercise that will bring county agencies together to work as a team,&8221; he said