It’s been promised, but the promises are unfulfilled and Missouri’s cities and counties still wait for thousands of dollars in homeland security dollars. Congress has promised to send $3.5-Billion to cities and counties for local homeland security efforts by first responders. But a promise is not an appropriation. And many local governments have had to lay out thousands of dollars of their own while waiting for federal funds that would otherwise go for making airports safer, protecting water supplies, and making other improvements for public security. The head of the Missouri Municipal League, GaryMarkenson, says Congress has not made some important decisions about the money. He says there is some discussion in Washington about giving the money to the states and letting the states distribute it. But Markenson says first responders should get the money. After all, he says, if there’s a crisis, it’s the local police and fire departments who are called first – not the FBI or a state agency. But there’s growing pessimism that Congress, facing increasing deficits, will even appropriate the money. The advice being given local first responders—believe it when you see it.
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