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Wednesday, July 3, 2002

County Seeks Funds for Homeland Security Training Program

On the eve of the Fourth of July celebration of independence and freedom, Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson has announced that Atlantic County is applying for more than $130,000 in funds from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to provide homeland security training for county and municipal employees as the nation's war on terrorism continues.

Levinson said that in addition to providing training for local government employees, the funds would be used to provide local law enforcement personnel with expanded first responder training to enhance their efforts to protect area residents from potential threats.

"Homeland security is a national priority. Government must make every effort, at every level, to protect our citizens. We believe training and education are key to its success," he stated.

OSHA will award approximately $1.2 million in grants to nonprofit organizations for homeland security programs that train workers and employees to respond to emergency situations in the workplace through the Susan Harwood Training Grants program, named in honor of the late former director of OSHA's Office of Risk Assessment.

If the county's application is approved, it will use the funds to develop and implement a homeland security training program to teach approximately 100 county and municipal employees how to address homeland security threats. These individuals will also learn how to train their fellow workers. As a result, as many as 5,500 county and municipal workers, including first responders and behind the scene personnel, such as public health and public works employees, could receive training. The county's proposal also includes hiring a consultant to review its current building and safety policies with respect to homeland security.

For more information, please contact Howard Kyle, Chief of Staff, at (609) 343-2223.

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