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US 2010 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Bill to Benefit Baylor Engineering Research

June 25, 2009

Rep. Edwards secures $950,000 for McLennan County law enforcement, Baylor Aerospace Engineering as bill passes house

US Fed News

June 24, 2009 Wednesday

WASHINGTON, June 18 -- Rep. Chet Edwards,D-Texas (17th CD), issued the following press release:

Congressman Chet announced that he has secured funding that will help the cities of Waco and McGregor upgrade their security and communications technology, and help Baylor invest in important aerospace engineering research. Edwards added the funding to the 2010 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill, which passed the House today. Edwards secured $450,000 to help the city of Waco improve coordination between the police department, fire department, EMS, and other emergency personnel by upgrading vital communications technology.

Currently, the systems are in analog which prevents interoperability between emergency service providers. The funding will replace their analog consoles with 10 IP based digital radio consoles to ensure quicker response times and more open lines of communication between departments. During operational activities, the Waco Radio system serves as the unifying tie for approximately 25 fire departments, police departments, federal agencies and other vital emergency services. "I believe we have an obligation to work closely with local law enforcement to protect our communities. This new equipment will help our officers respond more quickly to emergency calls with the information they need to protect our families," said Edwards, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee. Carinne Crider, of the Waco Police Dept. said, "The funding that Congressman Chet Edwards helped secure for the Waco Police Department and Waco community will provide a portion of the funding to upgrade our digital interoperable radio system that will tie all agencies together and create true interoperable communications between the agencies in any situation." Edwards also secured $100,000 to help the City of McGregor add additional security features around the industrial area, including video surveillance and other technological upgrades that support law enforcement efforts. The addition of surveillance will deter crime in the industrial area, and the much needed technological upgrades will assist the City of McGregor in faster response time. McGregor Police Chief Steve Foster said, "With the help of Congressman Edwards, our department will continue to make McGregor a safer place to live and do business." Edwards also secured $400,000 to help Baylor buy equipment and pay for research costs to test the carbon fiber composite materials for aerospace/aircraft structures. They are expected to partner with TSTC and L3 Communications on the project. "This will allow Baylor researchers and their industry partners to promote economic growth in Central Texas, remain competitive, and increase quality technical undergraduate and graduate education in the Waco area," said Edwards. Dr. Truell Hyde, Vice Provost for Research, Baylor University said, "Composites research is rapidly becoming essential to the local aviation industry which in turn is vital to the regional economy. This funding, provided by Representative Edwards, will greatly enhance Baylor's ability to conduct the composites research and development necessary for continued growth in this exciting field." The bill must still pass the Senate and be signed by the President.