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Prairie Island community receives $125,000 for security upgrades

The Prairie Island Indian Community has been awarded a $125,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security. Announced Thursdays, the grant funds will be used to upgrade the community’s incident command vehicle, including improvements to its communications system, increased vehicle security, enhanced nighttime incident capabilities and training for emergency responders.

“The grant will ensure we are able to provide our first responders with state-of-the-art equipment and training to protect the safety of our community members and all visitors to Prairie Island,” Prairie Island Police Chief Jon Priem said.

The award came as part of the Tribal Homeland Security Grant Program. Prairie Island was the only tribal community in the upper Midwest to receive an award. The funds will be distributed over a 24-month period beginning this month.

“The grant award is welcomed news for the Prairie Island Indian Community,” Tribal Council President Johnny Johnson said. “Our community sits just 600 yards from the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant and its more than 1.5 million pounds of nuclear waste. No other community in the country sits as close to a nuclear site or faces such unique security and safety challenges.”