More federal help needed
- By Dibya Sarkar
- Dec 02, 2001
Members of the U.S. Conference of Mayors say more money needs to be allocated
to state and local first-response activities. In a national action plan,
the group said only 5 percent of the $10 billion in federal funds for anti-terrorism
is allocated to state and local governments. They called for block grants
for training, communications and rescue equipment, and security measures
to protect public transit and other infrastructures.
Local governments want more federal money to complement their own investments.
For example, John Matelski, deputy chief information officer for Orlando,
Fla., said the city has a separate technology improvement process, which
he anticipates will be budgeted at $4 million next year. But city officials
are also looking for federal and state funds to help implement new technologies
on a regional basis.
But John Cohen, president and chief executive officer of PSComm LLC,
who advises local and state governments on public safety operations, said
that although all levels of government are focusing on homeland security
efforts, he doesn't see a comprehensive national strategy that pulls them
He said there needs to be a "clear direction" from leaders in Washington,
D.C., for a strategic plan that could not only build a communication infrastructure
faster, but also save money.