Homeland security not all wasteful

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 31, 2006

OK, we&8217;ll admit it. When it comes to government spending, we can be a bit cynical. Who can blame us?

Years ago reports uncovered tons of wasteful government spending including the now infamous hammers and toilet seats for which the government paid exorbitant prices.

More recently, incredible amounts of money have been pumped into the Homeland Security coffers. Much of it appears to have become the latest political pork primed for picking.

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Among the most puzzling of these include:

4Purchase of a fleet of Segway scooters for a California bomb squad.

4Production of a Homeland Security rap song to raise awareness for the children of Washington, D.C.

4Funding equipment purchases for North Pole, Alaska, (population 1,700) to the tune of more than $500,000.

But not all the Homeland Security funds have been so flagrantly wasted.

We&8217;ve seen some wise use of federal Homeland Security funding spent here in the Miss-Lou, however. The most recent is in the form of a $20,000 grant to the Ferriday Police Department. The funds will go to upgrade the department&8217;s communication system so that all of the parish&8217;s public safety agencies will be able to communicate seamlessly.

Communications issues were one of the first national problems identified in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on our country.

Although it has been nearly six years since the issue was first brought into prominence, we&8217;re happy to see some of the money is finally being spent for a good purpose. Communication, as further evidenced in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, is vital to our nation&8217;s security. Even a cynic can recognize its importance.