U.S. Senators Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today announced that Memphis will receive $4.2 million from the Department of Homeland Security to help create a security infrastructure that can prevent, respond and recover from acts of terrorism. The funding is part of the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), which provides grants to urban areas nationwide to assist state and local first responders.
“Today’s announcement means Memphis will receive the federal funding it needs to ensure the city is prepared to respond to threats and protect its citizens,” Frist said. “I’m happy that the Memphis area is again receiving funds from the Urban Security Initiative, and I commend the Department of Homeland Security for recognizing Memphis’ security needs. Senator Alexander and I will continue to work with local officials to support the city’s homeland security efforts.”
“I commend the Department of Homeland Security for awarding $4.2 million to Memphis to defend against potential threats,” Alexander said. “I applaud the hard work of the mayors and homeland security professionals in Memphis for working to keep Tennessee businesses and families safe. Senator Frist and I will continue to do all we can to support them in these efforts.”
“We are pleased that the Department of Homeland Security has recognized that the Memphis Urban Area – with its large inland port and significant transportation assets – merits increased funding for security initiatives,” said Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton. “This grant will assist in our on-going efforts to ensure that the citizens of Memphis and surrounding counties are safe from the threat of terrorism.”
“I would like to thank our Congressional delegation, particularly Majority Leader Frist and his staff, for their tireless efforts to restore this vital funding to the Memphis area,” Herenton added.
“I am very appreciative to have worked closely with Mayor Herenton and in cooperation with all of the area municipalities and surrounding counties to ensure that every dollar we receive will provide the maximum state of preparedness for our citizens,” Shelby County Mayor AC Wharton said.
This is a significant development for Memphis and Shelby County residents because the city was not eligible for UASI funding last year.
The Department of Homeland Security selected cities nationwide to receive funding allocated in formula grants through the states. Funding allocations among cities, contiguous counties, and mutual aid partners are 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.