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The original item was published from 7/19/2017 8:20:54 AM to 7/21/2017 7:24:35 PM.

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Posted on: July 19, 2017

[ARCHIVED] Aurora, Naperville Receive $1.3 Million to Collaborate on Anti-Terrorism Training


First responders in Aurora and Naperville will be better prepared to deal with coordinated terrorist attacks thanks to a grant of over $1.3 million over three years awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The cities worked in tandem to secure the grant money which will be used by police officers, firefighters, emergency management personnel and other first responders to coordinate training, planning and exercises to enhance response in the event of a Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attack (CCTA); such as those that have occurred in Paris, Boston, San Bernardino and other cities across the globe.

"Regional capability sharing between Aurora and Naperville would be essential in the response to a complex coordinated terror attack," said Aurora Emergency Management Coordinator Joseph Jones. "Due to the population size and proximity of the two cities it is likely that any large scale event would impact both jurisdictions."

Officials from both municipalities stress that training, planning, and exercises are needed to create appropriate response to any attacks. This preparation enhances the abilities of police, both patrol and Special Response Teams, and other first responders, to respond to multiple locations and effectively mitigate a complex coordinated terror attack.

"The vision of the CCTA program is to create a sustainable program for the region," said Naperville Emergency Management Coordinator Dan Nelson. "This grant provides us with a tremendous opportunity to enhance the safety of the entire region by developing a system to identify gaps, educate, train, analyze, and implement changes to prepare our area to first prevent and, if needed, respond to a terrorist attack."

The cities submitted a three-year plan when they applied for the grant in February as part of FEMA's competitive "Prepare Communities for Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attacks Grant Program". Some of the plan's goals include the adoption of region-wide common response tactics for first responders, reviewing all valid assessments and critical infrastructure, ensuring that continuity of operations plans exist at all levels and with all responding agencies; and sharing all approved processes findings and corrective actions with local, regional, state and national partners.

 The $1,373,809 grant award to the Aurora-Naperville collaboration is the largest received by any Illinois municipality or government agency and the 12th largest of the 30 awards handed out nationwide by FEMA.

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