The Buffer Zone Protection Program (BZPP) is a Department-administered infrastructure protection grant program to help local law enforcement and first responders identify and mitigate vulnerabilities at the highest-risk critical infrastructure sites. A buffer zone is the area outside a facility that an adversary can use to conduct surveillance or launch an attack. The term is associated with identified critical infrastructure and key resources (CIKR).
BZPP provides funding to local law enforcement for equipment acquisition and planning activities to address gaps and enhance security capabilities. The program brings together private sector security personnel and first responders in a collaborative security planning process that enhances the buffer zone.
Buffer Zone Plan
A Buffer Zone Plan is developed with Department support by local jurisdictions in coordination with CIKR facility owners and operators. The Plan helps local law enforcement and first responders:
- Define the boundaries of an appropriate buffer zone extending outward from the facility and identify assets that may be targeted and specific threats and vulnerabilities associated with the site.
- Analyze first responders’ terrorism prevention and critical infrastructure protection capabilities.
- Develop preventive and protective measures that make it more difficult for terrorists to successfully target and attack CIKR sites.
- Apply grant resources that enhance the planning, equipment, and training needed by local law enforcement to mitigate site and buffer zone vulnerabilities.
- Strengthen partnerships among federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments and critical infrastructure owners and operators.
The Department sponsors workshops, video conferences, and technical assistance to help BZPP participants become familiar with the wide range of methods and assistance available to secure their sites. Upon request from local owners and operators, the Office of Infrastructure Protection offers on-site assistance through its Protective Security Advisors and may also conduct a Site Assistance Visit to allow a more thorough site evaluation and enhanced federal, state, local, and private sector participation.
Buffer Zone Protection Program Grants
To enhance the ability of local law enforcement and first responders to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure and key resources, BZPP grant funds may be applied to a range of prevention and planning activities to mitigate equipment and resource shortfalls identified during the development of the buffer zone plan.