The Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday announced $25.5 million in grant funding for the Border Interoperability Demonstration Project that aims at developing innovative solutions to increase interoperable emergency communications along the nation’s borders.
The grants come as a result of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 that called for the DHS office of Emergency Communications to establish the BIDP to identify solutions to help with communications for emergency responders and border patrol. The legislation authorizes DHS to select no fewer than six communities to participate—at least three along the U.S.-Canadian border and at least three along the U.S.-Mexican border.
“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 DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano. “These BIDP grants provide our state, local, and tribal partners with resources to explore innovative, effective, and adaptable solutions for improving emergency communications.”
The following communities were awarded money under the program:
- City of Yuma, Arizona—$3,994,443 for the Yuma Full Voice and Data Integration Demonstration Project.
- San Diego Fire-Rescue, California—$3,852,580 for the Regional Command and Control Communications Tactical Border Communications Project.
- County of Washington, Maine—$3,963,163 for the Enhanced Communications Infrastructure and Partnerships for Border Security Project.
- Wayne County, Michigan—$4,000,000 for the Southeast Michigan Border Interoperability Solution Project.
- Interoperability Montana, Montana—$3,895,425 for the Northern Tier Consortium Border Interoperability Demonstration Project.
- Lake County, Ohio—$3,998,200 for the Multi-Agency, Multi-Jurisdictional U.S. Regional & International Interoperable Communications Infrastructure and Maritime Domain Awareness Project.
- City of McAllen, Texas—$1,940,000 for the Rio Grande Valley Border Interoperability Regional Project.