Philadelphia Denied Funds To Fight Terrorism

President Bush (6/9/05):

Law enforcement officers stand between our people and great dangers, and we’re making sure you have the tools necessary to do your job.

Philadelphia is trying to improve its first responder capabilities, but the government isn’t helping out. The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) has decided that Pocatello, Idaho (population 51,466), needs emergency communications equipment more than Philadelphia (population 1,517,550) does.

COPS denied Philadelphia $6 million to upgrade its first responder equipment so that police officers, firefighters, and paramedics could use their radio equipment underground and in tunnels, which the current equipment will not do. Deputy Police Commissioner Charles Brennan was baffled by the denial of funds:

We thought after the subway bombings in London, someone would see that it would make sense for the fifth-largest city in the United States to have first responders who were able to communicate underground.

So which cities did receive funding? Full list can be found here, but some highlights:

$3,000,000: Grand Forks, North Dakota

$2,256,164: Bismarck, North Dakota

$2,152,015: Davenport, Iowa

$1,900,610: Pocatello, Idaho

$981,360: Las Cruces, New Mexico

Evidently, the nation’s fifth largest city doesn’t need new tools.