first_imgA city panel delayed action Monday on accepting its share of a $64.4 million homeland security grant, questioning its impact on Los Angeles’ crimefighting efforts and the cost of administering it. The City Council’s Public Safety Committee asked for a report next week on how Los Angeles Police Department officers are currently being assigned to anti-terrorist efforts and how the money would be spent. “We all realize the threat of al-Qaida. That’s a no-brainer,” Councilman Ed Reyes said. “But we also want to know if anyone is doing any thinking about the grip that gangs have on parts of this city because of the international trading in narcotics and guns.” The grant is the second major allocation to the city as part of the Urban Area Security Initiative of the Department of Homeland Security. Los Angeles previously received $179 million. More than 250 of the LAPD’s 9,400 officers play roles in anti-terrorism activities, although Councilman Jack Weiss estimated that only a dozen are involved directly in that work. Others are members of specialized teams, such as SWAT or the bomb squad, that respond in a variety of emergency cases. Councilman Dennis Zine asked for information on the activities and arrests made by the anti-terrorism unit, and he voiced concern about the $1.1 million needed to administer the grant. “It just seems to me that $1 million is a lot of money – money that isn’t going into operational expenses or equipment,” said Zine, a retired LAPD sergeant. Councilman Bernard Parks also questioned whether provisions of the federal grant dilute the city’s authority in deploying its officers. “I think the concern that some of us have is directing our resources out of the city budget because of a grant that is narrow in focus,” said Parks, a former LAPD chief. The grant is designed to supplement law-enforcement efforts, including training and planning, and to ensure various public safety agencies can communicate with one another during emergencies. Los Angeles would receive $34.7 million of the grant, with the $29.7 million balance to be divided among neighboring jurisdictions, including $17.2 million to county government; $2.3 million to Glendale; $282,800 to Burbank; $6,000 for San Fernando; and $482,730 to Ventura County. [email protected] (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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