Communities across Kentucky will benefit from nearly three million dollars in federal money intended to heighten security and safety measures. The funds are from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The money will help bolster preparedness for terrorism or natural disasters in the Commonwealth. Half of it, or 1.4 million dollars, will pay for communications equipment, including mobile data computers and police radios.
Kentucky Office of Homeland Security Director Gene Kiser says the latest in communication technology is a must today, “You know all these department need to be able to communicate. I mean we’ve heard terrible stories of fire departments rolling up to a scene and having somebody with a gun pointing right in their face and their radios wouldn’t work and same thing with law enforcement.'
Over a million dollars will pay for bomb detection equipment along with medical, protective, and search and rescue items. Gene Kiser says, unfortunately, bomb detection units are kept busy, “You just never can tell. People, because of television and the internet, have become very sophisticated in putting something together that looks like a bomb. You just can’t tell until you’re right there with it. And these are the fellas that do a job I would never be able to do."
Kiser hopes the federal government will continue to provide funding for security measures, admitting that state and local governments have become what he described as "addicted to the grant funds." He says there is also hesitancy to raise taxes to pay for expensive equipment.