(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today announced that she has secured $500,000 in the fiscal year 2003 Commerce, Justice, State and the Judiciary (CJSJ) Appropriations bill to replace Cowlitz County's Emergency Response Radio system.

The Cowlitz County Emergency Radio Response system is used to ensure public safety response, emergency communications, and homeland security for the residents and emergency responders in Cowlitz County. Portions of the current system are more than twenty-five years old and are at risk of failing without warning.

"The events of September 11th, showed us all that communication is critical in emergency situations," Senator Murray said. "I am pleased to be able to help provide funding to replace an antiquated communications system in Cowlitz County. Replacement of this system is both urgent and necessary to ensure the safety of residents."