Posted on January 3, 2006
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today announced that the Department of Homeland Security has deemed the city of Memphis eligible for fiscal year 2006 Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) program funding. This is a significant development for Memphis and Shelby County residents because the city was not eligible for UASI funding last year. “This is a tremendous victory for the city of Memphis,” Frist said. “Thorough preparation for potential emergencies is vital to both preventing threats and responding effectively. Senator Alexander and I have worked closely with officials in the Memphis area on homeland security matters, and we will continue to support the city’s emergency preparedness and response efforts.” "This success represents the culmination of a year of hard work by local, state and federal homeland security officials,” Alexander said. “Memphis is a unique transportation hub, with the convergence of rails, roads, rivers, and the largest air freight site in the world. Rejoining the Urban Area Security Initiative program will show appropriate recognition of the critical role the Memphis plays in our national infrastructure; and the increased homeland security funding will help us protect assets vital to our economic security.” Federal UASI assistance will be used to enhance Memphis’s overall security and preparedness level to prevent, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism. The Department of Homeland Security selected 35 cities nationwide to receive funding allocated in formula grants through the states. Specific funding levels for UASI-eligible cities will be determined in the coming months. Funding allocations among cities, contiguous counties, and mutual aid partners will be based on an urban area assessment and strategic plan. The urban areas were chosen based on a formula that takes into account factors including critical infrastructure, population density, and credible threat information. This process helps meet the Bush administration’s commitment to ensuring that homeland security funding is directed to areas with the greatest security needs.