The Department of Homeland Security announced its FY 2006 allocations for the port, transit, and intercity bus homeland security grant programs, as detailed in this document. Looking at the allocations, it’s possible to detect a handful of trends:
- Ports with extensive petrochemical assets, primarily along the Gulf Coast, made out very well in the allocations. The eight ports in Texas and Louisiana received funding totaling $57.7 million – approx. 1/3rd of the total allocation.
- New York’s funding increased sharply, from $6.6 million in FY 2005 to $25.7 million in FY 2006 – not surprising given the fallout from the general grant allocations in June.
- Ports in California made out poorly in the allocations. LA/Long Beach’s funding was halved from $24 million to $12 million, and other major ports – Oakland, San Diego – received little or no funding (a fact not lost on the Contra Costa Times).
- Chicago, somewhat surprisingly, received a large allocation of $11.5 million, after have received less than $2 million in all previous rounds of port security grants combined.
A likely general explanation for these decisions, I would expect, is that certain ports (e.g. LA / Long Beach) have already made extensive investments in security, and DHS is spreading funds to a second tier of ports who have not received funding in previous rounds and are insufficiently protected by comparison and have higher “need” scores.