FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                    ODP

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2002                                                                            202-307-0703






WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Justice announced today that the State of Illinois will receive $10,604,000 to enhance its ability to respond to acts of terrorism involving biological or chemical agents or nuclear, radiological, or explosive materials.      

“Our nation’s emergency first responders courageously stand on the front line in our fight against terrorism.  This grant highlights the Administration’s and Department of Justice’s commitment to providing states and local emergency first responders the resources they need to respond to any future acts of terrorism,” said Attorney General John Ashcroft. “This grant is part of a larger federal effort to ensure the safety of our nation against future acts of aggression.”

The funds, awarded by the Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP), will be used to purchase specialized equipment for emergency response agencies, including law enforcement personnel, fire and emergency medical services and hazardous materials response units, who are the first responders to terrorist acts involving weapons of mass destruction (WMD).  The funds will also be used for WMD training exercises.  The grant is awarded under the FY 2002 State Domestic Preparedness Program, administered by OJP’s Office for Domestic Preparedness (ODP).  Under this program, the Justice Department will provide more than $315 million for states to purchase emergency first responder equipment and conduct WMD exercises. Illinois previously received $5,765,000 in equipment funds as part of the FY 2001 State Domestic Preparedness Equipment Program. 

Using ODP funding, all 50 states, the territories, and the District of Columbia can purchase a wide array of equipment including personal protective equipment; chemical, biological or radiological detection and decontamination equipment; communications equipment; physical security enhancement equipment; WMD technical rescue equipment; general support equipment; and medical supplies and limited types of pharmaceuticals.

To qualify for the FY 2002 funding, states, territories, and the District of Columbia first had to conduct a comprehensive assessment of risk, capabilities and needs related to a potential terrorist attack, develop a multi-year Statewide Domestic Preparedness Strategy, and apply for their FY 2001 domestic preparedness equipment funds.  States use their statewide strategies to guide spending of these funds.

The Office for Domestic Preparedness (ODP) was established in Fiscal Year 1998 and is the Justice Department's primary program office responsible for enhancing the capacity of state and local jurisdictions to respond to, and reduce the consequences of, incidents of domestic terrorism.  For more information on the Office of Domestic Preparedness (ODP) and other OJP programs, please see OJP's Website at:   Media calls should be directed to David Hess in OJP’s Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at 202-307-0703.