News Release
Release No.STELPRD4020963
ContactChris J. Kanazawa808-933-8302
Joseph M. Diego671-300-8560
Hilo, HI, Apr 26, 2013 --

    @@USDA Rural Development was on hand to witness the unveiling of two brand new, police vehicles that were purchased by the Department of Public Safety, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). The procurement of the new vehicles was made possible by the awarding of $79,276 in competitive grant funds that are available to the CNMI for rural economic and community development

    "Rural communities and first responders face unique challenges when dealing with public safety," according to Hawaii State Director for USDA Rural Development Chris Kanazawa. "The purchase of much needed police vehicles utilizing grant funds will not only provide rural residents of the CNMI with an improved sense of safety, but it will also assist with the Obama Administration's efforts to enhance our nation's first responder capabilities."

    According to Joe Diego, Area Director, "Few things are more important to a community than a sense of well-being and safety. These first responders have our backs and the vehicles will help to protect the citizens of the CNMI for generations to come."

    The funding comes from USDA Rural Development's community facilities program, which funds essential buildings, equipment and vehicles in rural areas. Other examples of community facilities projects include hospitals, nursing homes, day cares, fire halls, emergency response vehicles, city halls, utility vehicles, storm warning systems and police radios.

    USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.

    USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $176 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Since 2009, the Obama Administration has invested over $273 million in loans, grants and guarantees for the Western Pacific.