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Published:February 6th, 2007 08:37 EST
NOPD Receives FEMA Funds for Communications Equipment Damaged by Katrina

NOPD Receives FEMA Funds for Communications Equipment Damaged by Katrina

By SOP newswire

NEW ORLEANS, La. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness have announced $2.26 million in reimbursement funds for repairs to the New Orleans Police Department’s communications equipment damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

When the storm hit, extensive flooding caused damage to the department’s two-way radio systems. Funds recently obligated will reimburse the department for repairs and replacements of more than 560 radios used for emergency services after and since the disaster struck. These include hand-held, mobile and desktop radios used in both police vehicles and inside police divisions located on Broad Street, Canal Street, Moss Street and North Claiborne, among others. In addition to the radios themselves, many of the antennas, high-capacity batteries, microphones and earpieces were also repaired or replaced.

“When disasters like Katrina strike, it is imperative that the local police force remain able to communicate with citizens who need their help,” said Jim Stark, director of the Louisiana Transitional Recovery Office. “Money obligated by FEMA will continue to help rebuild the infrastructure of New Orleans, including reimbursing the Police Department for the tools they need to service the citizens of this city.”

When projects are obligated by FEMA, the funds are transferred to the state. This allows the state to draw down the monies and distribute them to the local applicants. The state may require additional documentation from the applicant before disbursals are made.

The Public Assistance program works with state and local officials to fund recovery measures and the rebuilding of government buildings, roads and bridges, schools, water and sewer plants, recreational facilities owned by government agencies, some facilities owned by nonprofit agencies and other publicly owned facilities. FEMA can set aside money to bring each project back to its pre-disaster function and capacity, and the state distributes the money. In order for the process to be successful, federal, state and local partners coordinate to draw up project plans, fund these projects and oversee their completion.

FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident, initiates mitigation activities and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA works closely with state and local emergency managers, law enforcement personnel, firefighters and other first responders. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.