Communications Grants to Be Awarded by Sept. 30

U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said the $968 million being offered this year in Public Safety Interoperable Communications grants will help state and local first responders improve communications and coordination during a disaster. Grant guidance and application kits were released July 28. Applications are due by Aug. 28, and grants will be awarded by Sept. 30.

The grant program helps public safety agencies acquire, deploy, and train to use interoperable voice, data, and/or video communication systems. Congress authorized $1 billion to establish the PSIC program as a one-time, formula-based, matching grant program in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. The program will fast-track awards to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.

"When disaster strikes, first responders must have the tools to communicate," Gutierrez said. "Under this streamlined program, states will be given grants to use technology that will make our cities and states safer."

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