O'Malley critical of Homeland Security funding; survey says city is well-funded
Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley joined five other mayors yesterday at the National Press Club here to discuss the findings of a survey of 183 cities conducted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.Department of Homeland Security] funding to states and cities has steadily decreased," O'Malley said. "We're expecting a $1.6 million decrease this year."
Although most cities appear to be flying solo on disaster planning, Baltimore's answers in the survey show that it has fared somewhat better than most when it comes to federal assistance for disaster planning, especially with building communication networks.
According to the survey, 77 percent of cities with populations over 300,000 claimed the federal government has not given them sufficient resources to establish radio networks that enable various emergency agencies in the same region to communicate with one another.
Baltimore was among the 23 percent of big cities that said the U.S. government has provided adequate funding for such a network. However, Baltimore attained that status only by aggressively beating out dozens of other cities for a $5 million federal grant in 2003 to build its shared communications system, O'Malley aides said.