Tennessee receiving nearly $14 million in homeland security funds

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee will receive an extra $13.7 million in federal reimbursement funds for the state's homeland security projects, state officials said Thursday.

The money will be applied to improving communications, information sharing and training programs, Gov. Phil Bredesen said in a release. The state will funnel 80% of the money into its 11 Homeland Security District Councils to pay for city and county projects in each area.

"These funds will spearhead the continued full integration of local, state and federal agencies," Tennessee Emergency Management Agency Director Jim Bassham said. "This plan has been one of the governor's top priorities over the last four years and will perform as a resource multiplier to achieve our communications goals."

The federal money comes from five separate grants:

-$4.78 million for protecting against - and responding to - chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive attacks.

-$4.2 million for terrorism preparation in the greater Memphis area - consisting of Shelby, Tipton, Fayette, Lauderdale counties and DeSoto County, Miss., and Crittendon County, Ark.

-$3.48 million for improving communications between state and local law enforcement. -$929,000 to enhance mass casualty response programs in Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga.

-$372,000 for citizens' response groups.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)