With highest per capita DHS funding, Wyoming spends on emergency comm

Wyoming gets the highest per capita funding for homeland security - $24.80 per person or $13.9 million. That money's going in part to an emergency comm system far more expansive than the state will ever need.

Wyoming receives the highest per capita funding from the Dept. of Homeland Security, $27.80 per person, according to StateNet. While that's a lot less than the $40 per capita it received in 2004, before allocation formulas were rejiggered, it's still substantially more than high-density, high-vulnerability areas like New York (which gets $15.54 per capita) and New Jersey ($7.80). Still New York takes home the most dollars, $298 million, while Wyoming gets about $13 million.

It's  nothing to sneeze at in any case, so what is Wyoming doing with its $13 million? They're building an interoperable communications network, Wyolink, according to the Billings Gazette.

Wyolink, a statewide program with an initial budget of $54 million to create a network that will allow every state and local agency to communicate on the same radio system.

In a crisis, Mahon says, any public safety worker in the state - emergency medical technicians, public works road crews, firefighters, police - will be able to communicate over Wyolink. Federal authorities can use the system, too, if necessary.

While the chair of the state's Emergency Response Commission gripes that, "What irritates me is you look at New York, and they're not telling you they're getting billions of dollars, [actually about $300 million] where we're getting a few million," one line of the article proves that Wyoming is still getting too much:

Mahon said Wyolink is expected to be fully operational statewide by the end of 2007 and will allow for as many as 64,000 users, far more than Wyoming's expected total of about 12,000.