Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Your article last week about homeland-security funding [“Homeland-security
bake sale”] said, “While first-responder units always have struggled to get
enough funding, many have been surprised to learn that billions of dollars
in homeland-security spending has often not allowed them to improve their
situations.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

Since 9/11, California has received over $1 billion in federal
homeland-security funds. Over 80 percent of those funds have gone to
frontline first responders to upgrade equipment, conduct training, perform
exercises and improve planning to both prevent terrorist attacks and respond
to disasters, man-made and natural. First responders in all 58 counties have
received funding to improve their capabilities. In fact, it is the first
responders themselves who largely determine where homeland-security
resources will be invested.

Having limited funds and strict rules on how those funds can be invested
will always lead to hard choices, but I want this fact to be clear:
California’s first responders are at the front of the line when it comes to
getting the tools they need to keep us safe.

Matthew Bettenhausen
Director, Office of Homeland Security

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