NEW ORLEANS, LA—Several Parish Homeland Security Directors from the New Orleans region are calling on the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) to reverse planned cuts to Emergency Management Preparedness Grant (EMPG) funding. In a recent e-mail sent to parish Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness directors from across the state, GOHSEP Director Kevin Davis announced plans to cut EMPG funding by nearly 70 percent. Historically, the funding has provided critical local emergency management activities and positions that provide capabilities that cannot be funded through parish resources.
Last week, Lt. Col. Jerry Sneed, Deputy Mayor of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness for the City of New Orleans sent a letter to GOHSEP Director Kevin Davis on behalf of four parishes in the Greater New Orleans region demanding that he reverse his decision to cut funding for Emergency Preparedness Grants for 2014.
“Make no mistake, a nearly 70 percent decrease in funds will cripple our ability to keep our parishes safe,” said Lt. Col. Jerry Sneed, Deputy Mayor of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. “Services will be reduced. Jobs will be lost. And there’s a real fear that this this decision could bring emergency management in Louisiana back to pre-Katrina levels.”
Directors also questioned Davis’ decision to communicate these cuts through an e-mail instead of during the recent GOHSEP Directors meeting in February.
The letter is attached.