VA fusion center and homeland security grants
| 06.06.2006 | 08:52:34 | Views: 2389 | ID:
June 6 '06: Virginia homeland security officials are floating a plan to build an $8 million fusion center in Chester County which would have at its core an information management and dissemination system "that would allow state and local officials, as well as the public ... share information that could prevent a terrorist attack or other criminal enterprise," the Richmond Times Dispatch reported Tuesday. The system at the core of the new fusion center would be called the Virginia Information Intelligence Management System, but lawmakers are worried at the cost because of a decline in federal homeland security grants and other programs and projects already underway.
The Times-Dispatch reported, "From the Richmond area to the Northern Virginia suburbs, emergency management officials are trying to figure out how they're going to carry out major security projects with a dwindling flow of federal money for guarding the homeland." Last year Virginia received close to $33 million in federal funding while an additional $46.5 million will be allocated in special funding to the Northern Virginia, Washington DC area for security projects. This year, federal grants to the commonwealth will total close to $16 million.According to an article last year by Washington Technology, fusion centers "are collaborative efforts to combine and analyze anti-terrorism information from multiple sources ... A number of states including Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New York, currently operate so-called fusion centers, and many more states" are considering building their own. The Times-Dispatch continued, "Federal homeland security officials say state and local officials are overreacting to the reduced funding for their programs, which reflects a $500 million cut in homeland security spending nationwide. They remind Virginia officials, for example, that the government already has spent almost a half-billion dollars to improve emergency response and security in the state since the late 1990s."
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