National Security

  • Attempts to learn more about how the state of Georgia has spent its homeland security grants since 2001 turned out to be an exercise in frustration.

  • The state of Idaho produced a lengthy spreadsheet and other documents in response to a request submitted under the state’s open-records law for information about its anti-terrorism grant spending. While the information is not as detailed as we would have preferred, readers can still view spending activity by county, cost of the equipment purchased, year it was acquired and more.

  • A 30-foot trailer costing $54,000 in Hinsdale County, Colo., “did not appear to have been used” four years after it was purchased with federal grants. New mobile radios sat in storage there for nearly a year. A set of night-vision goggles went missing and has never been relocated.

  • The Golden State is a leading recipient of anti-terrorism grants in the country due to its population, major attractions and powerful political representatives. At least $1.9 billion from major grant programs poured into the California between 2003 and 2009. State auditors in a Sept.

  • Authorities in Arkansas responded to an open-government request with richly detailed spreadsheets listing the state’s homeland security grant purchases by community, number of equipment items, brand name, price and more. The individual Excel files are available for download below. Use the tabs contained in each one to see expenditures by grant year and program.

  • Arizona has figured prominently in the evolution of the Department of Homeland Security since its creation in 2003. When Barack Obama took office, he appointed the state’s governor, Janet Napolitano, to head the department, and she was confirmed by Congress with little opposition.

  • When presidential candidate John McCain in 2008 announced Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, we decided to have a look at how her hometown of Wasilla and the surrounding Matanuska-Susitna Borough handled millions of dollars in federal homeland security grants.

  • With help from federal homeland security grants, the state of Alabama earned national praise in 2007 after it rolled out an innovative program known as Virtual Alabama.

  • Flying on a commercial airliner changed forever after Sept. 11, and travelers have grown accustomed to the greatly enhanced security measures implemented since the hijackings, including thousands of new screeners hired by the fledgling Transportation Security Administration to search passengers and bags for dangerous items.

  • Illinois officials gave $200,000 a year to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Urbana so it could seek tips from the public about terrorists possibly tampering with the food supply by poisoning pets. Authorities also claimed the hotline would help them detect disease outbreaks. After two years, however, the local SPCA learned only that macadamia nuts are dangerous for dogs.

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