FRANKFORT, Ky. — After an extensive evaluation and review process, Gov. Matt Bevin and the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security (KOHS) have announced that 50 grant recipients will receive nearly $3 million under Kentucky’s 2018 Homeland Security Grant Program to purchase law enforcement, fire and emergency services equipment to counter threats of terrorism in the commonwealth.
“Ensuring the safety and protection of Kentucky’s citizens, property and resources is of paramount importance,” said Gov. Bevin. “Therefore, we take a very deliberative approach to the annual Homeland Security Grant process. Our KOHS team has carefully evaluated each application and allocated funding on the basis of most critical need.”
For the 2019 federal fiscal year, KOHS will administer $2,869,600 in U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grants to city and county governments, fire protection districts and area development districts to purchase first responder equipment, communications equipment and critical infrastructure protection.
A major initiative this year was to increase the commonwealth’s ability to respond to, mitigate and recover from complex coordinated attacks. KOHS dedicated significant resources in this grant cycle toward building Kentucky’s collective capacity to counter such potential threat events. Grants awarded this year will enable Jefferson County, Fayette County and the City of Benton to acquire multipurpose special operations vehicles to be used regionally to support operations well outside of these cities’ borders.
“This was a particularly challenging year as KOHS received so many more grant requests than funding is available to fulfill,” said KOHS Executive Director John Holiday. “This placed an even greater importance on determining how scarce grant dollars could be put to use in the most efficient and effective manner for the first responders of the commonwealth and the people they serve throughout Kentucky.”
The 2018 grant process was extremely competitive. For the current grant cycle, KOHS received 269 applications requesting nearly $17 million, nearly six times the available funds. The 50 grants awarded will be spread across 36 Kentucky counties. A major focus this year was increasing resources to deter, respond to and mitigate potential complex coordinated attacks to the commonwealth. Many of the projects will have an anti-terrorism impact well beyond the awarded counties’ borders.
“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 utilize a regional approach to allocate money based on need and greatest public safety impact.”
For a complete listing of the 2018 Homeland Security Grant Program awardees, visit: http://homelandsecurity.ky.gov/Pages/Grants.aspx.