The Department of Homeland Security has awarded the Baltimore area $11.9 million through its Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grant program. Baltimore's grant application received a perfect 100 out of 100 score, ranking it first in the nation and garnering a 23 percent increase in funding above the 2006 award.

"This score is indicative of the leadership and commitment of the City of Baltimore in working with our regional partners," said Mayor Dixon. "The Office of Emergency Management is to be commended for its thorough planning and diligence in ensuring the safety of the city."

UASI grants are distributed among 46 metropolitan areas in the country. Baltimore's UASI area includes Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties and the city of Annapolis. Two-thirds of an area's award is determined by assessed risk, and the remaining one-third is based on strength of the application.

Since 2003, Baltimore has received more than $59 million in UASI funding. To date, this funding has aided Baltimore's purchase of Closed-Circuit Television cameras (CCTV), as well as established regional radio interoperability and regional decontamination capabilities.

The additional $11.9 million will enable Baltimore to continue to equip, train and test its first responders, who include firefighters, paramedics and police.

"Our first responders are the face of the federal government's level of disaster readiness," said Mayor Dixon. "I am proud to say that my administration, the Fire Department and the Office of Emergency Management will continue to fight for the highest level of funding to support these public servants."