Niagara County brings home some Homeland Security grants | Local News

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Niagara County and a pair of municipalities received a slight share of $13 million in federal grant awards through the State Homeland Security Program. Awards were made to a combination of 78 cities, towns, villages and counties through seven unique grant programs to enhance their preparedness and response capabilities. This funding will be used to support vital training and equipment for first responders including specialized law enforcement and fire emergency response teams. Grants will also be used to enhance the protection of critical infrastructure and the cybersecurity posture across New York state.

Twelve awards were made through the competitive grant opportunity. Locally, funds were only awarded to Niagara County in two award categories.

Cybersecurity Grant Program

This program provides funding support for eligible counties, cities, towns and villages to enhance their ability to protect, detect, identify, respond to and recover from cyber incidents. Funding may be utilized to mitigate capability gaps for equipment, training, planning and exercise costs.

Local awards include:

• $30,365 — Town of Lockport

• $50,000 — Niagara County

• $50,000 — Niagara Falls

Explosive Detection Canine Team Grant Program

Funding through this program provides local law enforcement agencies with active road patrols aid to develop and enhance their explosive detection canine capabilities. Explosive Detection Canine Teams provide a visible, proactive police presence in areas of mass gathering, transportation centers and critical infrastructure sites. In addition to this deterrence presence, they provide a mobile response capability for detection and identification of potential explosive device type incidents.

• $15,000 — Niagara County

The funding is allocated to New York’s bomb squads, hazardous materials teams, explosive detection canine teams, tactical teams, and technical rescue and urban search and rescue teams. It will be used to protect and secure critical infrastructure, mass gathering events and enhance local governments’ cybersecurity capabilities.

The State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services manages the targeted grants and has previously distributed approximately $90.9 million to these critical programs.

“Emergency preparedness is critical to our ability to respond to crises and keep New Yorkers safe,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said. “Working with federal and local partners, we’re equipping law enforcement across the state with the tools to respond to any threat that may come.”

Added New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray, “These grants give our most technically expert first responders the latest technology, tools, and training that they need to protect New Yorkers and all of our communities.”

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