Report: Homeland Security grants wasted

Dec. 5, 2012 at 7:52 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Much of the money given local communities in Homeland Security grants is wasted, U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., says.

Coburn, likely to be the ranking Republican on the Homeland Security Committee in the next Congress, released the results of a yearlong review of grants Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reported. The report cited $90,000 spent by Peoria, Ariz., for security measures at a baseball field used for spring training by the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres, and the purchase of a $200,000 armored personnel carrier by Clovis, Calif., which was then used to provide security for an Easter egg hunt.

San Diego paid $1,000 a head for police officers and firefighters to attend a counter-terrorism conference. One of the high points was the "Zombie Apocalypse," with first responders defeating actors dressed as zombies.

In the past decade, the department has provided $35 billion in local counter-terrorism grants. Coburn said much of the money has simply subsidized police and fire services.

"We cannot make every community around the country invulnerable to terrorist attacks by writing large checks from Washington, D.C.," Coburn said.

Coburn wants to cut the $46 billion Homeland Security budget.

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