SIKESTON - A $1.3 million grant from the State Emergency Management Agency has been awarded for a regional bomb team.
"It's federal money that is passed through at the state level," said Drew Juden, director of the Sikeston Department of Public Safety.
As Juden filed the paperwork for the grant, Sikeston has been designated as the "gatekeeper" for the SEMO Regional Bomb Team and will be responsible for the equipment and the administration of the grant. Other participants are Cape Girardeau, Poplar Bluff and Jackson.
The grant will provide 100 percent of the funding. "There is no matching funds requirement," said Linda Lowes, director of governmental services. It provides money for bomb team training as well as equipment including bomb suits, a containment vessel, X-ray units, a response vehicle, a support vehicle, a robot and a camera mounted on 30-foot pole.
"Lt. Mike Williams from Sikeston DPS has already completed the administrative training for this unit," said Lowes. "He did that at Huntsville, Ala." As soon as the administrative paperwork is finished, personnel from each of the four cities will attend bomb school.
"My goal is to have the team stood up and operational by March or April of next year," Juden said.