New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says his city will not alter its strategy in future applications for federal antiterror money to comply with the Department of Homeland Security’s preference for safeguards like new technology over recurring costs like police overtime, says the New York Times. “While technology is important,” he said, “it’s really shoe leather that counts” in fighting crime and terrorism. “And so a very big portion of the monies that we always ask for are to cover labor costs, which typically the federal government does not do. We think they’re wrong in that.”
Last night, the House of Representatives approved an appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1. The bill passed after Republicans blocked an effort to add $750 million for antiterror grants “so that no state or urban area receive funding below what it received in 2005 or 2006, whichever is higher.” New York’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which has received about $14 million in federal funds for health and bioterrorism preparedness, said the cut in federal aid could hurt those efforts. “This cut is likely to have an effect on our planning for radiation events, including subway detection and response projects, as well as on critical emergency response information systems,” said deputy commissioner for disease control, Dr. Isaac B. Weisfuse.