Los Angeles has spent $3.7 million in the past month to tighten security at Los Angeles International Airport. The Los Angeles Times says the spending total is $123,000 a day, with no end in sight. Funds pay overtime for police officers staffing vehicle checkpoints and patrolling LAX since Dec. 21, when the U.S. Department of Homeland Security raised the security threat index to orange. Most of the nation moved on Jan. 9 to yellow alert, but LAX is one of eight airports still on heightened alert.
Mounting costs have prompted city officials to ask the Bush administration for reimbursment of costs incurred during orange alerts. “The feds are not backing up cities when it comes to dollars,” City Councilman Jack Weiss said. “When we went to orange this last time I knew they were going to stiff us again, and sure enough, they have.”
The Department of Homeland Security has about $146 million to reimburse cities for overtime costs incurred during orange alerts. The $3.7 million for additional security since Dec. 21 is a small fraction of the $104.7 million the city has spent to tighten security at the airport since the 2001 attacks. The federal government has reimbursed about 15 percent of these costs.