WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Solomon P. Ortiz, D-Corpus Christi, announced that several South Texas law enforcement agencies will receive more than $85,000 in grants and equipment from the Homeland Security Department's Commercial Equipment Direct Assistance Program.

CEDAP provides smaller communities and rural areas with technology, training, and technical assistance to enhance first responder capabilities throughout the nation.

The program is an important component of larger, coordinated efforts to strengthen the nation's overall level of preparedness against emergencies.

"It is vital for our law enforcement agencies to have every advantage necessary to do their jobs faster and better," Ortiz said. "In South Texas, which is the frontline of many law enforcement issues, I am committed to see our officers receive federal resources, and I know they will put this equipment to good use."

The agencies receiving the grants are:

Kingsville Special Crimes & Narcotics Task Force - $30,935 for a chemical detection kit. Port of Corpus Christi - $12,000 for a Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kit. Corpus Christi Refinery Terminal Fire Company - $30,935 for a chemical detection kit. South Padre Island Police Department - $11,500 for XOA Series Portable Video Surveillance equipment.