Homeland Security secretary visits Louisville

Janet Napolitano
Janet Napolitano

Louisville, KY - By Janelle MacDonald - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The U.S. Homeland Security secretary is leaving Kentuckiana with an earful. Secretary Janet Napolitano met with first responders in Louisville Thursday.

Secretary Napolitano called it a open back and forth with local first responders, or "first protectors" as she called them.

She met with them at the newly renovated MetroSafe headquarters. It's a 91 million dollar building, 27 million of that came from the Department of Homeland Security.

The secretary said part of the discussion Thursday with those first responders, the police chief, Mayor Jerry Abramson and Congressman John Yarmuth involved the use of more of that money: the possibility of using Homeland Security grants to pay the salaries of police officers, firefighters and the like.

"On the personnel side, it's a need here, across the country," Secretary Napolitano said. "The stimulus bill has been very helpful on that and of course, my understanding is that here there was another six million or so in COPS (Justice Department grant) money that was recently awarded that will enable the retention and hiring ... of 32 peace officers."

It seems that's not the only money issue our local officials bent the secretary's ear on. They also talked to her about making sure local communities get reimbursed quickly with FEMA funds for response to disasters like we saw with the wind storm and ice storm.

Copyright 2010 WAVE News. All rights reserved.