LR anti-terror funding reduced since 2001

    7:44 PM, Apr 24, 2013   |    comments
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    Video: LR anti-terror funding reduced since 2001

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The shocking tragedy of the Boston bombings has heightened awareness for responders across the country--a notion true for Little Rock.

    "You always have to take a step back, and see how you're doing, and look to see if you can improve in any way," said Matt Burks of Little Rock Emergency Management.

    Burks said after 9/11 the Department of Homeland Security supplied the city $7 million to fight terrorism. The federal money bought the city four bomb robots, a mobile command unit and camera security systems for buildings.

    "We probably wouldn't be able to afford on our own," explained Burks.

    Little Rock Fire Captain Jason Weaver is also a bomb technician and said robots are often the first tool used in a dangerous event.

    "We can get pretty good information with the cameras, the microphones and all the abilities the robots have...we try to use those as our primary response," added Weaver.
    Burks said resources can be used to fight normal crime and not just terror threats, but funding has reduced over the years. After 9/11, the city received around a million a year, and in 2012, it received just $100,000 a year.

    "We actually have to go out and do a competitive grant application and compete with other counties in the state," said Burks.

    The city said they are being proactive in fighting terrorism. Burks said emergency management has already met with the Little Rock Marathon to discuss security measures for next year's race.

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