L.A., Long Beach to share $55M Homeland Security grant

Torrance Daily Breeze
Aug 9, 2010

L.A., Long Beach to Share $55 Million Federal Homeland Security Grant.

Los Angeles and Long Beach will share a $55 million federal grant to improve homeland security, the mayors of both cities announced today.

The Urban Area Security Initiative grant from the Department of Homeland Security actually totaled nearly $70 million, with 20 percent set aside for the state of California.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said the money will be used to improve the intelligence gathering and communications capability of law enforcement and emergency personnel.

"Unfortunately, we live in a period where being caught off-guard is no longer an option," he said. "The future of our city and our region hangs on our ability to prepare for and respond to an emergency."

Referring to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster said, "We are safer now than we were nine years ago, but more has to be done, much more has to be done."

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said a portion of the grant will fund the Los Angeles Regional Interoperability Communications System, which will connect the county's 43 police departments and 30 fire departments, hospitals and medical services organizations, and other agencies that may be called upon during a terrorist attack or catastrophe.

The UASI grant for Los Angeles-Long Beach was the largest in California this year, and the second largest in the nation. The region has received more than $400 million from the UASI grant since 2003.

According to the Department of Homeland Security Web site, the UASI program focuses on enhancing regional preparedness in major metropolitan areas. It is aimed at expanding regional collaboration for prevention, protection, response and recovery.

More than $800 million in UASI grants were up for grabs this year.