Walnut Ridge Benefitting from State's Share of Anti-Terrorism Money

AUGUST 22, 2005 - Posted at 8:00 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Members of Congress, the Department of Homeland Security, the 9-11 Commission and President Bush say big cities need a larger portion of anti-terrorism funding and that rural states like Arkansas should receive less.

The U.S. Senate is now considering a bill to give more populous states more money.

But in Arkansas, local law enforcement and others say the increased funding since September 11, 2001, was much needed and has been put to good use.

Walnut Ridge, for example, received $230,000 to buy rescue gear, protective suits, a weather station and more for the town of less than 5,000.  Before the terror attacks, Walnut Ridge had $30,000 to spend and raised a lot of the money from fish fries and Thanksgiving turkey sales.

Walnut Ridge Police Captain Chris Jones said it's sad that it took 9-11 to change things, but now, the community is ready for just about anything.

In three years, the post-terrorism funding formula has brought almost $70 million to Arkansas.  In 2003, that amounted to $10 per person, $3 more than the national average and $5 more per person than either New York or California received.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Received.)