The U.S. Department of Justice has allocated more than $2.9 million to the state of Texas for planning and equipment to combat terrorism. Which communities will get money? What equipment will be purchased?
More than 90 individuals from throughout the state are gathering in College Station May 31 – June 2 to begin answering these questions. The conference, sponsored by the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and the Texas Department of Emergency Management, is the first step in the planning process required by DOJ to meet requirements to access equipment funds.
G. Kemble Bennett, TEEX director and chairman of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium, has been designated by Gov. George W. Bush as the state’s point person for the DOJ program.
“We must ensure that Texas is prepared to handle acts of terrorism in its backyard,” Bennett says. “In order to do this, we have to craft a strategic state plan and designate equipment resources accordingly. No doubt, we’ll be faced with some tough decisions.”
Most medium-size and large Texas cities will be represented at the conference, which begins at 8 a.m. May 31 and concludes at noon on June 2. Participants will be broken into four working groups to explore key issues: threat, vulnerablity, capabilities and needs, and public health.