New York has allocated $20 million in grant funding for the Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant (SICG) program, which will help improve emergency communications across the state.

According to the governor’s office, program funding will be used to help county governments improve and enhance local emergency response capabilities by investing in public safety communications in critical areas across the state.

“Public safety is my number one priority, and information is the best tool we have to protect people in emergency situations,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “Our emergency communications infrastructure is critical to keeping communities safe, and these investments will enhance our ability to reach New Yorkers before emergencies arise and aid in our efforts to respond to them.”

The $20 million in state funding will be administered by the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) under the 2023 SICG Targeted Grant Program. The state has allocated funding to seven counties and New York City.

The governor’s office noted that the primary objective of the SICG-Targeted program is to close gaps in the interoperability infrastructure, address regional communications deficiencies, improve redundancy and resiliency, and implement National Interoperability channels.

Grant recipients can use the funding to conduct various emergency communications projects, such as installation of new equipment, enhance communication channels among public safety radio systems, and provide training and exercise support to promote interregional emergency communications and first responder readiness.

“These awards play a critical role in helping our local responders enhance and modernize existing emergency communications systems, and promote further interoperability between counties and their partners,” New York Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said.

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