Anti-Terror Aid From Feds Skimpy: Fla. Officials

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Homeland security officials in South Florida met yesterday to divide up their first federal grant. The Miami Herald reports that “it didn’t go very far.” Assistant Miami Fire Chief Joe Fernández said his agency’s needs — for chemical and biological agent detectors, protective equipment, modernized communications and training — outweighed a $13.2 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security.`”We have some big-ticket items that chew up a lot of the funding — outfitting a city emergency operations center, a mobile command vehicle, radios for every firefighter, bomb detection and disposal equipment.”

Another official said, “The fact is that a lot of money has been discussed, but very little has come down to areas such as ours, where we have a very large population and the potential for something major occuring.” Another official noted that “We have multiple seaports and airports, a nuclear power plant — a lot of areas vulnerable to attack.”

Across South Florida, no homeland security official contacted by The Herald was able to put a hard dollar amount on what it would take to be ready for a catastrophe.


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