After an extensive evaluation and review process, the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security (KOHS) announced Tuesday afternoon that there are 112 recipients for Kentucky’s $2.7 million 2016 Homeland Security Grant Program, including Rockholds Volunteer Fire Department.
Rockholds is getting $28,700 in grant funds for first responder equipment or Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), such as turnout gear coat and pants.
The Knox County Fiscal Court also received $15,000 in grant money for Personal Protective Equipment and Laurel County’s Bald Rock Volunteer Fire Department received $75,600 for “other” equipment that wasn’t specified.
“My greatest responsibility as governor is to ensure our citizens and resources are protected from all threats, including natural and man-made disasters, crime and terrorism,” said Gov. Matt Bevin. “To accomplish our mission, it is vital that homeland security grants are allocated through a bipartisan, objective process that maximizes security and safety throughout the Commonwealth. This is exactly what we will do.”
For the 2016 federal fiscal year, KOHS will administer $2,699,400 in US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grants to city and county governments, fire protection districts, area development districts, and public universities to purchase first responder equipment, communications equipment and critical infrastructure protection.
“Each year, the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security’s grants department shoulders the heavy burden of soliciting, processing, evaluating and prioritizing hundreds of requests for millions of homeland security grant dollars-an especially challenging process when ever-shrinking resources conflict with ever-increasing demands,” said KOHS Executive Director John Holiday.
The grant process is extremely competitive. For the current grant cycle, KOHS received applications requesting $15 million, more than five times the available funds. 105 Kentucky counties applied for grant funding in the current cycle, and the 112 grants awarded will be spread throughout 74 counties.
“I wish we could offer funding to every county and city within the Commonwealth,” Holiday stated. “Each is dealing with their own financial challenges. However, we must apply critical thinking and apply a regional approach to allocate money based on utmost need and greatest public safety impact.”