ANNAPOLIS (Nov. 11, 2008)—Governor Martin OMalley recently announced nearly $26.7 million in homeland security grant funds for local communities in Maryland. Of the total amount, $312,201.20 is for Calvert County, $432,857.29 is for Charles County, and $287,208.34 is for St. Mary's County.
The funds are part of U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grant programs for state and local government.
The Governor passed through 85 percent of the available funds under the State Homeland Security Grant Program to local governments. There is a legal mandate to pass-on at least 80 percent.
Funds are being provided to every county in Maryland, Baltimore City, Ocean City, and Annapolis. Funding amounts were determined by providing a baseline amount to each jurisdiction, with the balance of funds allocated using a formula calculating each jurisdictions risk level. The formula was developed by the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) in coordination with emergency management and law enforcement personnel from local jurisdictions.
We understand that many local jurisdictions in Maryland are facing severe budget conditions, which is why we continue to pass though more homeland security money to local governments than federal law mandates, said MEMA Director Richard Muth.
Each of the local jurisdictions receiving funds the 23 counties plus Annapolis, Baltimore and Ocean City—will receive an average of about 11 percent less than last year, mirroring the reduction in total funding to the state.
Funds will be used for a variety of projects, including providing protective equipment to first responders, hardening critical infrastructure, and building interoperable communications systems. The $2.7 million in funds for the state will be used to support equipment purchases for state agencies, state-funded regional response units, and other state-wide initiatives. Therefore, local responders and emergency managers will also benefit from much of the states portion of the federal funds.