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City of Santa Monica Receives Nearly $750,000 in Anti-Terrorism Funds

 
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By Niki Cervantes
Staff Writer

May 24, 2017 -- The City of Santa Monica is receiving almost $750,000 in Homeland Security anti-terrorism funds used to pay for everything from a bomb-detecting canine and emergency medical training to updating security cameras on the Third Street Promenade.

The money is part of a broader initiative focusing on 29 high-threat major metropolitan areas. The Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grant money includes smaller cities, like Santa Monica, that border large metropolises like Los Angeles.

Los Angeles is boosting security at major events in the wake of the terrorist attack at a concert in Manchester, England Monday night that killed 22 and injured 59. (For more information about preparing for a terrorist attack or other emergency visit Ready LA.)

The funding is needed, given the current “climate of heightened probability of terrorist activity of both domestic and foreign origin, coupled with Santa Monica’s international appeal as a destination city and our numerous large-scale events,” the chiefs said.

Santa Monica’s police and fire are using the funds for a long list of projects, a report by Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks and Fire Chief Bill Walker said.

Specifically, the Police Department was awarded $31,920 for a bomb-detection canine and related training and $389,580 to upgrade the security camera system on the Third Street Promenade, an exceptionally busy tourist hub in the region.

The Fire Department was awarded $327,789, the report said. It is splitting the funds several ways.

Of the total, $46,140 goes toward Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) Training and Equipment; $91,709 for Tactical Emergency Medical Services (TEMS) Training and Equipment, and $12,000 for regional mobile exercises (MOBEX), the report said .

An additional $116,580 is for Hazardous Materials Training and Equipment; $36,360 is for Urban Search and Rescue Training and Equipment; and $25,000 will be used for consumables (lumber, drill bits, chisel bits, blades, rotary saw blades, anchors, nails and bolts) for the regional satellite training site.

The City of Santa Monica has received more than $7.5 million in UASI funding since 2003, using the money to buy interoperable communication and infrastructure equipment, supplies and for training, the report said.

The new bomb-sniffing dog and police partner will “conduct searches of buildings, parking structures, office areas, vehicles, and suspicious packages for various explosive materials near not only critical City infrastructure such as City Hall, 3rd Street Promenade, the Pier, the airport, and water and communication hubs,” the report said.

The team -- which enhances the SMPD’s three existing canine units -- also will be used during high-profile events like the L.A. Marathon, GLOW, concerts at the Pier, dignitary visits, and large-scale gatherings associated with Hollywood awards shows.

Updating the Promenade’s camera system would also help the SMPD to investigate more commonly occurring crimes and improve its response to large-scale events or gatherings, the report said.

The Santa Monica City Council in February passed a resolution saying the City would cooperate with federal immigration officials “in matters involving the protection of public safety” but would not use money or resources for violations "of civil provisions of federal immigration law related to documented status” ("Santa Monica Confronts President in Council Resolution, Mayor’s Letter," March 6, 2017).

It was passed in reaction President Trump's efforts to increase immigration enforcement. The resolution does not call Santa Monica a “sanctuary city,” unlike the declarations of other jurisdictions.

 


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