New state and local funding causes some areas to get less DHS money
| 01.30.2006 | 08:31:40 | Views: 2096 | ID:
January 30: Changes to a federal homeland security fund formula using the Urban Area Security Initiative Grant program have caused many state and local governments to voice their concern that there will not be enough money to keep their communities safe.
The Associated Press reported this week officials "including state lawmakers, big-city police chiefs and other emergency responders, are concerned" about potential targets and critical infrastructure like interstate highways, ports, power plants and chemical plants being vulnerable to a terrorist attack. In Connecticut, Gov. M. Jodi Rell said that declining homeland security funds were putting her state at risk and that "ports along our coastline, notable New Haven, New London and Bridgeport, should be regarded as at least as great a terror-target risk as cities like Omaha, Neb., and Louisville, Ky."GovExec.com reported last week mayors across the US have called for increased funding "for communication equipment, transit and rail systems, ports, air cargo screening," and that it was essential for the Department of Homeland Security to find a priority spending program for homeland security funds - something the department concedes as being a priority. Under the new funding program, DHS is beginning to focus on a more risk-based approach to supplying urban areas with money to boost communications and support logistics. A departmental release earlier this month revealed 35 areas which were eligible for funding. "These 35 areas encompass 95 cities with populations of 100,000 or more," the department's release read. DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff said the new funding approach was designed "to champion funding on the basis of risk and need." Chertoff also said his department was investing "federal funding into our communities facing the greatest risk and demonstrating the greatest need in order to receive the highest return in our nation's security."
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