Community Homeland Security

After the attacks on September 11, 2001 the United States Government began focusing on preparing local responders for terrorist incidents.  This was carried out through a grant process commonly referred to as Homeland Security Grants.  These are awarded each year based on a funding algorithm which takes into account numerous factors.  These grants have the following main objectives:

  • Enhance Emergency Management Programs across the United States

  • Develop Emergency Response Plans

  • Exercise Emergency Response Plans

  • Ensure interoperable communications among responders

  • Enhance interagency communication and information sharing

  • Increase responder response capability

  • Increase responder knowledge through training

Okanogan County is working towards all these objectives and more.  Although we already had an Emergency Management Program, with response plans in place, we have been able to expand our program and improve our plans.  We have also been able to exercise these plans on the local level and regional level.  The county has placed an emphasis on taking advantage of as much training as possible for responders while the opportunities exist.

Interoperable Communications has been, and will continue, to be a major project in Okanogan County.  We have greatly increased our communications infrastructure and field communications in the last couple years.  With the coming years we have plans to continue the development of our communications systems.  This includes everything from the dispatch centers and radio system infrastructure to the portable radios the deputies carry and the computers in their cars.

If you have additional questions about the projects being funded by Homeland Security Grants in Okanogan County, please contact our office, (509) 422-7207.