Homeland Security Money

The Houston region is eligible to receive $15.7 million for homeland security. It's part of $445 million in grants to help protect ports, rail and other infrastructure nationwide. Houston Public Radio's Capella Tucker reports.

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Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced the grants which are expected to be awarded in the spring. Harris County Judge Robert Eckels says the Port of Houston has received $30 million previously, but have had to compete nationally.

"In this case what we're seeing is an emphasis on security risks. The money is flowing more to the higher risk areas including Houston. So the good news in this one is they recognize the needs of the Port of Houston and the security in the Houston-Galveston region and have given us a significant piece of this grant program for the Houston region."

Recipients will have to submit plans on how they'll use the money to reduce the risk of a terror attack. Eckels says those plans are already in the works.

"We're already in the process of doing a comprehensive, coordinated approach to security in the Port of Houston. This will help with that process."

The New Orleans region will get $17.3 million. Capella Tucker, Houston Public Radio News.

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