Public safety grant news from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas has announced $1.6 billion for 8 Fiscal Year 2022 preparedness grant programs. Together, these programs provide critical funding to help state and local officials prepare for, prevent, protect against, and respond to acts of terrorism and other hazards. This funding is in addition to the $405.1 million announced last month for the Emergency Management Performance Grant Program.
Secretary Mayorkas issued the following statement about this year’s grant awards:
“Since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the threat landscape has continued to evolve. DHS has remained vigilant while adapting to protect the homeland. Through our grant programs, DHS makes critical investments to support our partners across every level of government and in the private sector as we work together to keep our communities safe.
“Following the hostage situation at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, I called for an increase in funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP). This program provides essential resources to help protect nonprofit organizations at risk of terrorist attacks. This year, Congress will provide a total of $250 million, an increase of $70 million from last year. This increase will allow more nonprofit organizations across the nation to make physical security enhancements to help protect against attacks. The increase also enables DHS to expand participation in this critical program and increase our support to historically marginalized communities and HBCUs in an effort to build capacity and address an evolving threat environment. In the President’s Fiscal Year 2023 Budget request to Congress, DHS has proposed an additional increase in funding for this critical program to $360 million.
“As the threats to our nation continue to evolve, our grant programs must evolve with them. This year, I have designated two new national priority areas for the FY 2022 State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) and Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grant programs: Community Preparedness and Resilience; and Election Security.
“With this year’s grant awards, DHS is prioritizing support to state, local, tribal, territorial, and campus law enforcement efforts more than ever before. Since 2007, DHS grant programs have required a minimum of 25% of funds be granted to Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Activities (LETPA). This year, for the first time, I am increasing funding to LETPA from a statutory minimum of 25% to 30%, resulting in a $51.5 million increase from the prior year. Through these efforts, the Department is supporting law enforcement’s ability to understand, recognize, prepare for, prevent, and respond to pre-operational activity and other crimes that are precursors or indicators of terrorist activity.”
“The Fiscal Year 2022 grant guidance will continue to focus on the nation’s highest risk areas, including urban areas that face the most significant threats and national priorities. This year, the Urban Area Security Initiative will enhance regional preparedness and capabilities by funding 36 high-threat, high-density urban areas. This includes five additional urban areas who will receive funding to build and sustain capability based on an evolving threat environment. This represents Congressional intent to limit these funds to those urban areas that represent up to 85% of nationwide risk.
DHS has identified 6 national priority areas in the FY 2022 grant cycle:
- soft targets and crowded places;
- intelligence and information sharing;
- domestic violent extremism;
- community preparedness and resilience;
- and election security.
Grant recipients under the State Homeland Security Program and Urban Area Security Initiative will be required to dedicate a minimum of 30% of their awards across these 6 priority areas. 12 percent is required through minimum spend amounts for 4 priority areas, and recipients have flexibility on how to allocate the remaining 18% across the 6 priority areas: cybersecurity (no minimum spend); soft target and crowded places (3%); information and intelligence sharing (3%); domestic violent extremism (3%); community preparedness and resilience (3%); and election security (no minimum spend). After extensive consultation with grantees leading up to this announcement, DHS is focused on balancing the need to invest in high priority areas with giving jurisdictions the flexibility to make prioritization decisions based on their own assessments of their needs.
As with previous years, new capabilities that are built using homeland security grant funding must be deployable if needed to support regional and national efforts. All capabilities being built or sustained must have a clear linkage to the core capabilities articulated in the National Preparedness Goal.
Preparedness Grant Program Allocations for Fiscal Year 2022
The following grants are non-competitive and awarded to recipients based on a number of factors:
Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP): State Homeland Security Program—provides $415 million to support the implementation of risk-driven, capabilities-based state homeland security strategies to address capability targets. Awards are based on statutory minimums and relative risk as determined by DHS/FEMA’s risk methodology.
HSGP: Urban Area Security Initiative—provides $615 million to enhance regional preparedness and capabilities in 36 high-threat, high-density areas. Awards are based on relative risk as determined by DHS/FEMA’s risk methodology.
- For both the state homeland and urban area grants, 30% of the awards must address the six priority areas of cybersecurity; soft target and crowded places; information and intelligence sharing; domestic violent extremism; community preparedness and resilience; and election security. Additionally, 30% of these grants must be dedicated to law enforcement terrorism prevention activities, and 80% of these grants must be obligated from the state to local or tribal governments within 45 calendar days of receipt.
Intercity Passenger Rail—provides $10 million to Amtrak to protect critical surface transportation infrastructure and the traveling public from acts of terrorism and increase the resilience of the Amtrak rail system. Award made per congressional direction.
Emergency Operations Center Grant Program—provides $49 million to support the construction, renovations, and enhancements to emergency operations center to the list of entities identified in the Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2022 (Pub. L. No. 117-103).
The following grants are competitive, and exact awards will be announced later this year:
HSGP: Operation Stonegarden—provides $90 million to enhance cooperation and coordination among state, local, tribal, territorial, and federal law enforcement agencies to jointly enhance security along the United States land and water borders.
Tribal Homeland Security Grant Program —provides $15 million to eligible tribal nations to implement preparedness initiatives to help strengthen the nation against risk associated with potential terrorist attacks and other hazards.
Nonprofit Security Grant Program—provides $250 million to support target hardening and other physical security enhancements for nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of a terrorist attack. This year, $125 million is provided to nonprofits in UASI-designated urban areas, and $125 million is provided to nonprofits outside of UASI-designated urban areas located in any state or territory.
Port Security Grant Program—provides $100 million to help protect critical port infrastructure from terrorism, enhance maritime domain awareness, improve port-wide maritime security risk management, and maintain or re-establish maritime security mitigation protocols that support port recovery and resiliency capabilities.
Transit Security Grant Program —provides $93 million to owners and operators of public transit systems to protect critical surface transportation and the traveling public from acts of terrorism and to increase the resilience of transit infrastructure.
Intercity Bus Security Grant Program —provides $2 million to owners and operators of intercity bus systems to protect surface transportation infrastructure and the traveling public from acts of terrorism and to increase the resilience of transit infrastructure.
Before determining modifications and final allocations to the grant programs, DHS coordinated extensive engagements with local and state partners, and worked with a wide range of stakeholders. All the funding notices can be found at www.grants.gov.
FEMA has engaged in a concerted effort to expand and enhance outreach related to the NSGP to reach potential new applicants, especially in underserved communities. Funding allocations for the NSGP announcement and for technical assistance in developing grant applications can be found at Nonprofit Security Grant Program. Final submissions must be made through the non-disaster grants system located at https://portal.fema.gov.