Civic News & Info
Region 6 Homeland Security Board and Safeguard Iowa Partnership Announce Week 3 of “20 Weeks to Preparedness Program” PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Ross E. Bergen   
Monday, 27 February 2012 14:59
Release Date: February 27, 2012

Welcome to Week 3 of the 20 Weeks to Preparedness Program brought to you by the Region 6 Homeland
Security Board and Safeguard Iowa Partnership. This program will help prepare you and your family, a little at
a time, over a 20 week period. Each week new preparedness information will be shared including a list of items
to gather or purchase for your disaster supply kit. Sign up at www.safeguardiowa.org/subscribe-to-be-prepared
to receive weekly reminders and announcements related to the 20 Weeks to Preparedness program.

Use this program to gather items for your kit in small steps over a five month period. Remember to change
and replace perishable items by the expiration date. Purchasing the food suggested by this program would last
approximately 3-5 days.

Place in storage bin:

Five gallon bucket with lid
Plastic tarp
Work gloves
Ready-to-eat meals

Personalized Item (if applicable):

Special diet foods

To do:

Arrange for emergency care for children, elders, and/or pets. Remembering to think about all
the “what ifs” will result in better plans and execution in the event of an actual disaster.

Additional assistance is available by contacting your Scott County Emergency Management Coordinator
at 484-3050 or visiting the website at www.iascema.com. Visit Safeguard Iowa Partnership at
www.safeguardiowa.org, on twitter @safeguardiowa or Facebook at www.facebook.com/safeguardiowa.

The Region 6 Homeland Security Board is comprised of fourteen counties in eastern Iowa that coordinate homeland security planning,
training, exercise, response, and recovery. The counties included are Benton, Black Hawk, Buchanan, Cedar, Clayton, Clinton,
Delaware, Dubuque, Iowa, Jackson, Johnson, Jones, Linn, and Scott.

The Safeguard Iowa Partnership is a voluntary coalition of the state's business and government leaders, who share a commitment to
working together to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters in Iowa.

 
Center for Rural Affairs Board announces Leadership Changes PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Elisha Smith   
Thursday, 23 February 2012 16:39

Lyons, Nebraska - On Saturday, February 18, 2012, the Center for Rural Affairs Board of Directors met by conference call to discuss granting an extended leave of absence to Chuck Hassbrook, Executive Director and long-time staff member of the Center. The board voted, without dissent, to grant Hassebrook up to ten months of unpaid leave, beginning March 1, 2012. Hassebrook requested the leave in order to run for public office.

“As board president, I have every confidence in our staff’s ability to keep the Center and our work for rural America moving forward,” said Jim Knopik, Fullerton, Nebraska farmer and Center Board President. “I’ve seen many changes at the Center since I first became a supporter 14 years ago. I can tell you the Center continues to be in a strong position – now as much as ever.”

According to Knopik, Hassebrook has been with the Center for 34 years and was named Director in 1996, serving in that capacity for the last 16 years.

“Chuck has guided us through thick and thin. He has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of rural Americans,” Knopik continued. “I know I speak for my fellow board members when I say thank you Chuck, for all you’ve done.”

The Center Board, in other action, voted to implement a succession plan previously developed by Center board and staff and tapped Assistant Executive Director Brian Depew to fill the role of Acting Executive Director. Depew will assume the interim position on March 1, 2012.

The Center for Rural Affairs is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and does not support or oppose any candidate for public office.


 
TENTATIVE AGENDA SCOTT COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Chris Berge   
Tuesday, 21 February 2012 09:15
Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Special Committee of the Whole - 8:00 am
Conference Room 638, 6th Floor, Administrative Center

1. Roll Call: Cusack, Earnhardt, Hancock, Minard, Sunderbruch

2. Budget work session.

3. Other items of interest.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Special Board Meeting - 9:30 am
Board Room, 1st Floor, Administrative Center

1. Roll Call: Cusack, Earnhardt, Hancock, Minard, Sunderbruch

2. Approval of the Construction Permit Application of Thomas Dittmer, dba Grandview
Farms, Inc for the expansion of a confined animal feeding operation located at 12090
240th Street, Eldridge.

Moved by _____ Seconded by _____
Ayes
Nays

3. Adjourned.

Moved by _____ Seconded by _____
Ayes
Nays

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Special Committee of the Whole - 2:00 pm
Conference Room 605, 6th Floor, Administrative Center

1. Roll Call: Cusack, Earnhardt, Hancock, Minard, Sunderbruch

2. Budget work session.

3. Other items of interest.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Special Board Meeting - 5:30 pm
Board Room, 1st Floor, Administrative Center

1. Roll Call: Cusack, Earnhardt, Hancock, Minard, Sunderbruch

Public Hearing

2. Motion to open a public hearing relative to the Budget Amendment to the County's
FY12 budget.

Open Public Hearing

Moved by _____ Seconded by _____
Ayes
Nays

Close Public Hearing

Moved by _____ Seconded by _____
Ayes
Nays

3. Motion to open a public hearing relative to the County's FY13 budget.

Open Public Hearing

Moved by _____ Seconded by _____
Ayes
Nays

Close Public Hearing

Moved by _____ Seconded by _____
Ayes
Nays

4. Adjourned.

Moved by _____ Seconded by _____
Ayes
Nays

.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Special Committee of the Whole - 11:00 am
Davenport Clarion Hotel

1. Roll Call: Hancock, Minard, Sunderbruch, Cusack, Earnhardt

2. Legislature Forum for State Legislators and Local Governments.

3. Other items of interest.

 
OLSON’S OBSERVATIONS PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Steven Olson   
Monday, 20 February 2012 15:37

 
Accountability Needed in Law Enforcement Body Armor Programs PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 20 February 2012 14:41

Prepared Statement of Ranking Member Chuck Grassley of Iowa

U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary

Hearing on “Protecting Those Who Protect Us: The Bulletproof Vest

Partnership Grant Program”

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding today’s hearing.  Law enforcement officers across the country risk their lives every day to ensure that our neighborhoods and communities are safe.  Unfortunately, the tragic reality is that law enforcement officers are often placed in situations confronting dangerous criminals that are intent on harming anyone who tries to stop them.  Last year alone 164 law enforcement officers were lost in the line of duty, there were another 162 officers lost in 2010.  We owe these men and women, and their families, a debt of gratitude.

This hearing is to discuss the reauthorization of the Bulletproof Vest Partnership program at the Justice Department.  The program was created by Congress in 1998 and was designed to provide federal matching funds to law enforcement agencies across the country to purchase body armor.

By many measures, the program has been successful in getting body armor to state and local agencies that request the matching funds.  The program has reimbursed law enforcement agencies with nearly $247 million that has purchased nearly 1 million vests.  This is important because these vests save lives, not just from bullets, but from other injuries, such as car accidents and assaults that occur in the line of duty.

Any program that helps save lives of law enforcement officers is important and should be reauthorized.  However, that does not mean that we should simply write a blank check on the taxpayers dime without determining what is and what isn’t working in the program.

For example, one of the biggest concerns with purchasing body armor has been ensuring that the vests purchased are actually worn by the officers on the street.  We can authorize as much funding as we want, buy as many vests as the taxpayers can afford, but if the vests aren’t on at the moment they are needed, those purchases don’t matter.  For this very reason, the Bureau of Justice Assistance has a mandatory wear policy on vests that are procured through the program.

This is an important provision and one that makes sense, but according to testimony we’ll hear from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) this mandatory wear policy only applies to vests funded under the Bulletproof Vest Partnership program.  It does not apply to body armor purchased through other programs like the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program.  This is an inconsistency that needs to be addressed to ensure that officer safety is a priority when federal funds are used to purchase body armor.

In addition to reviewing the program to ensure vests are worn, we also need to take a look at how this program is being managed by the Justice Department.  According to GAO’s testimony, and a report released today in conjunction with the hearing, the Department’s management of this program needs to be improved.

Specifically, multiple grant programs can be used to purchase body armor with federal funds, yet the programs have differing requirements on matching funds, wear policies, and standards for purchasing approved body armor.  These inconsistencies should be fixed to ensure that minimum standards for both programs are uniform.

GAO also found that the Justice Department needs to address the financial bookkeeping of this program.  GAO found that the Department has consistently failed to deobligate expired money in the Bulletproof Vest Partnership program for over a decade.  Some of these funds trace back to Fiscal Year 2002 and have not been expended.  All in all, GAO found that there is $27 million in balances from grants awarded from FY2002-FY2009.

Further, GAO found that in 2009, there was an additional $14 million in funds from the program that were officially deobligated and used to pay down a recession in the Department’s budget.  So, according to GAO, funds Congress specifically appropriated for the program to purchase body armor were never used to actually purchase vests.  This is a serious matter and one that needs to be addressed immediately.

Unfortunately, according to GAO, the Department has said that they don’t yet know what they’ll do with the $27 million available for de-obligation and they may not know what to do with it until September 2012.  Any reauthorization of the program should ensure that the Department uses these funds to buy more vests, or pay down the national debt, not just sit on them for another decade.

Officer safety is paramount and we should do all we can to make sure officers on the street have body armor.  However, we must also ensure that taxpayer dollars are monitored and managed effectively by the Justice Department.  We can and must do both.  Reauthorizing this program affords us that opportunity.

I look forward to working on this reauthorization and to hearing the testimony of the witnesses.  I thank all the witnesses for being here today.  I also want to thank the GAO for expediting the release of their report so that we could discuss it here today.

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