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Congressman John T. Salazar, Third District of Colorado

Congressman Salazar's Funding Priorities for Homeland Security

As a new member of the Appropriations Committee, I have new oversight responsibilities for the spending of federal dollars, as well as an increased role in the prioritization of federal spending.

For too long, the process of Congressional funding requests lacked transparency and accountability, leading some members of Congress to abuse it and the public trust. Since assuming the majority in 2007, Congressional Democrats have significantly reformed the process, including ensuring that every American can easily determine which member of Congress has submitted a requests.

Below you will find a list of my funding requests in the Homeland Security Appropriations bill.

Consolidated Emergency Communications System


Archuleta County Combined Dispatch

449 San Juan Street

Pagosa Springs, CO  81147

A new 911 system, including software and hardware, is necessary due to the repeated failures and lack of reliability of the current system. Each of the systems is over 10 years old and well outside of any maintenance contract and vendor assistance to fix issues, as well as spare or replacement parts, are no longer available. The estimated cost of the new systems is between $550,000 and $600,000.  The cost is being borne solely by the 911 Authority.  Failure to update these systems will result in the inability to continue to provide 911 services to the County as current systems are failing and the current location is untenable.

 First Responder Training Facility


City of Grand Junction

250 North 5th Street

Grand Junction, CO 81501

The City of Grand Junction Fire Department, in partnership with the Colorado National Guard, is planning to construct an emergency responder training facility to benefit all 11 fire departments in Mesa County, 6 law enforcement agencies, the locally based Colorado National Guard unit, and other western Colorado emergency response agencies outside Mesa County.  Currently, such a training facility does not exist in Mesa County and only a few similar facilities have been constructed on the Western Slope of Colorado.

Tunnel and Passenger Testing and Training Facility



601 South 12th St., East Tower

Arlington, VA 22202

Within surface transportation, railroad tunnels and underground stations have been identified as particularly high-risk targets because of the potential for large passenger volumes, confined spaces, relatively unrestricted access, and the possibility for network disruptions with significant economic, political and social impact. Recent events have sadly demonstrated the vulnerability of underground mass transit systems. Security experts have identified a number of technology and training needs to prevent attacks on tunnels and to mitigate and remediate the consequences of such attacks. Technological needs include detection systems, dispersal control, and decontamination techniques. Training for emergency response across a variety of scenarios is also needed. The Tunnel and Passenger Testing and Training Facility would be a complex of 1.5 miles of above-ground tunnels capable of evaluating a variety of sensors and other technologies in tunnel environments; provide training and evaluate technologies to detect, protect, respond and recover in case of a tunnel disaster.

National Domestic Preparedness Consortium


Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)

55500 DOT Road

Pueblo, CO 81001

The project builds on a highly effective curriculum for state and local first responders, blending classroom, laboratory and hands-on field experience utilizing actual railroad infrastructure, cars and equipment.  Students are given the tools to perform as effective first responders at rail and other surface transportation hazmat incidents, including knowledge of potential hazards from industrial chemicals and CBRNE materials, response protocols, communication effectiveness and response mitigation.  The grant funding would enable an additional 2,000 state and local first responders to participate in the 2-week curriculum, covering course materials, supplies and all out-of-pocket student expenses.   There is currently a waiting list of over 4,200 students for this training at the Transportation Technology Center (TTC) facility.

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