CQ Homeland Security (subscription only) provides two more examples of the "garbage-in, garbage out" phenomenon for the homeland security grant allocation process:
By the departments account, there are zero military bases in the Las Vegas region. But Nellis Air Force base is within the 10-mile buffer zone the department considers the Las Vegas region. In addition, the Hoover Dam is 30 miles outside Las Vegas city limits, but the department does not include it as a critical asset in its assessment of the Las Vegas region. However, if something happens at the Hoover Dam, the Nevada Highway Patrol and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department will be the agencies to respond, said Nevadas homeland security adviser Giles Vanderhoof. It may not be within the 10 miles, but guess who is going to have to respond if something is going on there, he said. The department Friday would not respond to requests for explanations.In the departments assessment of San Diegos geographic risks, it says the city has more than 500,000 border crossers a year. However, that number is slightly off, said the citys Homeland Security Director Jill Olen there are more than 500,000 border crossers a month 62 million a year, Olen said. The San Ysidro border crossing happens to be the busiest in the nation, she said.Both Las Vegas and San Diego were dropped from the departments urban area funding list for 2006 and were only eligible to receive sustainment funds. But both Nevadas Vanderhoof and San Diegos Olen say they expect the department to reconsider their status in 2007 now that DHS has accurate information.
These anecdotes add to the impression
that there are serious flaws in the analytical process for homeland security grants - which creates a need for both better data and greater subjectivity
(although not politically-influenced subjectivity - which is admittedly difficult) in the decision-making process.UPDATE 2:12 PM:
Here are links to the full DHS grant explanations for New York City
, Washington, DC
, Las Vegas
, and San Diego
.-- Christian Beckner
(cross-posted from Homeland Security Watch
)UPDATE 2:28 PM
: Noah here. Wanna read some of the some really choice bureaucrat doublespeak? Then do be sure to read those docs that Christian linked above. "Based on the DHS comparative risk analysis, the New York City Area placed in the top 35 areas," DHS' team of geniuses tell us. However, the "following Investments proposed by the New York City Area scored among the bottom 15% of all 478 Urban Area Investments."
FDNY Critical Infrastructure Protection and RecoveryNYPD Counter-Terrorism Equipment and TrainingFDNY Strategic Management and PlanningDepartment of Environmental Protection: Critical Infrastructure Protection & HazMatNYPD Counter-Terrorism Bureau and Operation AtlasFDNY Critical Resource Logistics and Grant Program Management
Yup, all sounds downright useless to me.UPDATE 06/06/06 3:07 PM
: The NYPD hasn't exactly been waiting around for federal handouts, of course. Check out this killer Pop Mech
story on the Big Apple's "Anti-Terror Super Cops
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