The Center for Domestic Preparedness will receive an additional $20 million to modernize facilities, courtesy of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2019.
The funding boost was first announced Friday by U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. In a release, the Senator noted the appropriations bill provides the CDP with an annual budget of $66 million, plus $20 million for capital improvements.
“The $20 million is an investment in the future of the CDP, the future of Calhoun County and the future of our nation,” said CDP Superintendent Tony Russell, “It will provide necessary enhancements to the CDP campus so we can continue to provide critical training to state, local, tribal and territorial first responders, as well as others who train here.”
The capital improvements will include:
· The renovation of Building 640 in the CDP’s Advanced Responder Training Complex, for $9 million. The ARTC, which is used to prepare responders to deal with a wide range of hazards in settings commonplace in communities across the nation, such as city streets and industrial parks, has not been renovated since it was built in the 1980s.
· The renovation of Dormitory 294, at a cost of $6 million. This 78-bed dorm has not been renovated since the 1980s, and is currently used only to meet overflow and emergency needs.
· Critical electrical system upgrades at the Chemical, Ordnance, Biological, and Radiological, or COBRA Training Facility, for $3.5 million. As the only facility in the nation where civilian responders train with chemical agents and biological materials, the reliability of the 33-year-old facility’s infrastructure is paramount.
· The renovation of the cafeteria in Building 61, where the CDP headquarters is located, at a cost of $1.5 million. The cafeteria is used to feed students and instructors.
In the past few years, CDP residential training of state, local, tribal and territorial responders has grown almost 20 percent, to about 14,000 annually, Meanwhile, training at the CDP by DHS and other federal partners has grown by more than 400 percent, to about 3,000 annually.
Overall, the CDP trains approximately 50,000 students per year.
Since its founding in 1998, the CDP has trained more than 1.1 million students.