DHS funds interoperable border communications projects
Communities along the northern and southern U.S. borders received over $25 million in funding from the Department of Homeland Security to develop interoperable communications projects.
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced $25.5 million in grant funding under the Border Interoperability Demonstration Project (BIDP) on May 2. The BIDP, said DHS, is a one-time competitive grant program focused on developing innovative solutions to strengthen interoperable emergency communications along the U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico.
“The projects funded through the Border Interoperability Demonstration Project strengthen the security of our northern and southern borders, and our nation’s overall preparedness and emergency response capabilities,” said Napolitano. “These BIDP grants provide our state, local, and tribal partners with resources to explore innovative, effective, and adaptable solutions for improving emergency communications.”
Funding under the BIDP can be used for equipment purchases, planning, training and conducting exercises. The demonstration projects selected represent varying geographic regions and population densities in order to explore innovative approaches that can serve as models for other communities located along the borders with Canada and Mexico.
The grants went to fund a variety of projects in seven states along the northern and southern border. The City of Yuma, AZ received $3,994,443 for the Yuma Full Voice and Data Integration Demonstration Project. San Diego (CA) Fire-Rescue received $3,852,580 for its Regional Command and Control Communications Tactical Border Communications Project.
Washington County, ME got $3,963,163 for its Enhanced Communications Infrastructure and Partnerships for Border Security Project, while Wayne County, MI will use $4,000,000 for its Southeast Michigan Border Interoperability Solution Project.
Interoperability Montana will use $3,895,425 for the Northern Tier Consortium Border Interoperability Demonstration Project. Lake County, OH received $3,998,200 for the Multi-Agency, Multi-Jurisdictional U.S. Regional & International Interoperable Communications Infrastructure and Maritime Domain Awareness Project.
The City of McAllen, TX will use $1,940,000 for the Rio Grande Valley Border Interoperability Regional Project.