Photo: DHS to fund improvements to communication at U.S.-Canada and Mexico borders
Monday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a plan to strengthen emergency communications along both Canada and Mexico.
Grant funding of $25.5 million was allocated under the Border Interoperability Demonstration Project (BIDP), which was a one-time competitive grant program intended to help developing innovative solutions to enhance communication at the borders.
Janet Napolitano, DHS Secretary, said, “The projects funded through the BIDP strengthen the security of our northern and southern borders, and our nation’s overall preparedness and emergency response capabilities.”
The money will be split between seven projects in seven states, which include Arizona, California, Maine, Michigan, Montana Ohio, and Texas.
Planned projects include Arizona’s Yuma Full Voice and Data Integration Demonstration, estimated to cost about $3,994,443; Maine’s Enhanced Communications Infrastructure and Partnerships for Border Security, costing roughly $4 million; and Ohio’s Multi-Agency, Multi-Jurisdictional U.S. Regional & International Interoperable Communications Infrastructure and Maritime Domain Awareness.
The BIDP was established to improve and ensure secure emergency communications among emergency service providers along U.S. borders in cases of terrorism, natural disasters, and any other threatening events.