By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
The Alabama Department Of Homeland Security announced Friday that the Alabama State House has been awarded a $72,836 grant to upgrade the video surveillance system in both the House and Senate committee rooms and hallways.
The Director of the Alabama Department of Homeland Security, Spencer Colllier said, “The protection of critical infrastructure in Alabama is one of the key missions of the Alabama Department of Homeland Security. I’m excited that we are able to make this investment to protect the legislators and staff who work in the Alabama State House and the citizens who visit.”
$35,000 of the grant will be awarded to improve the security of the Alabama Senate facilities. The other $37,836 in grant money is to be awarded to upgrade the video surveillance system of the Alabama House of Representatives.
U.S. Department of Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the award of over $1.3 billion in homeland security grants including $294 million for the State Homeland Security Program (SHSP). The SHSP supports state homeland security strategies to build and improve preparedness capabilities.
In other Alabama Homeland Security news, Director Spencer Collier was attending a forum in Leesburg, VA last week. The “Preparing for Public Safety Broadband” Forum helps states implement the nationwide broadband network that is dedicated to public safety communications. The National Governors Association (NGA) hosted the event. Both Director Collier and Chuck Murph, the ALDHS Assistant Director of Interoperable Communications, attended the Conference.
Legislation was passed that reallocates a portion of the spectrum (D block) to create the nationwide first responders broadband network. The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) will construct and operate the network and will coordinate directly with the governors.
Director Collier said, “We are excited about the future possibilities for Alabama’s First Responders from the allocation of the D Block to Public Safety. This spectrum will usher in new innovations in how our First Responders manage incidents and disasters. The creation of the FirstNet board will put the needs of Public Safety at the forefront of the nationwide system design and implementation. Alabama stands ready to work with the FirstNet board to ensure our First Responder’s needs and requirements are met.”
In a report issued today the NGA said, “governors need to ensure that the interests of law enforcement, fire and EMS officials are adequately represented in governance and ongoing decision making. As noted above, governance issues will not be fully resolved until after FirstNet issues its guidelines. However, for the network to be successful, states will need to include the public safety and first responder community in governance and decision making processes.