Homeland Security and Congress-Pork Tossed at TerroristsSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


Homeland Security and Congress-Pork Tossed at Terrorists

12 August 2005 at 9:21:20 AM

Casey-Houston Chronicle

My colleague Eric Hanson wrote earlier this week about a Homeland Security grant that puts $1,400 two-way police radios in schools throughout Fort Bend County.

Funded with federal Homeland Security money, the program provides one radio per campus. Two persons per campus were given workshop training on how and when to use it.

"In a life-threatening situation, we are trying to take seconds and possibly minutes out of something in the hopes of saving someone's life and getting a quicker response to the schools," Cpl. Ben Zotyka of the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office told Hanson.

Consider two things.

First, with few exceptions al-Qaida has favored large cities with its strikes, especially in Europe and the United States: New York, Washington, Madrid, London.

So Homeland Security money in rural Needville, whose 2,500 total students wouldn't fill most urban high schools, is not exactly playing the odds.

Traffic cones

This is the same political dynamic that led to a $7,750 Homeland Security grant being sent to the volunteer fire department in False Pass, Alaska. Or money used to buy, among other things, 150 traffic cones in Fredericksburg, Texas.

Hey, those places may not have terrorists, but they do have congressmen.

Second, the single two-way radio at each campus saves seconds only if the terrorist attack or other event requiring an emergency response occurs in front of the person who happens to have the radio.

Otherwise the teacher in the classroom or coach on the field has to track down the person who has the radio in order to avoid those seconds waiting for a 911 operator.


You can't blame those Fort Bend County school districts for accepting the two-way radios. They're free, and maybe someday one of them might make a difference.

Still, I'd rather pay my local taxes to take care of local problems and have the Department of Homeland Security concentrate on fighting terrorists where they're most likely to strike rather than making my congressman look generous.

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