Tags: Report: | Arizona | May | Sit | Out | Orange | Alerts

Report: Arizona May Sit Out Orange Alerts

Sunday, 01 June 2003 12:00 AM

Arizona's governor and homeland security director both support the idea of not following the federal government's lead in ratcheting up security measures unless a specific threat to the state is detected.

"It creates incredible problems: overtime, financial, functional," Frank Navarrete, the state's homeland security director, told the newspaper. "It is not quite to the point where it creates havoc, but it's quite disruptive."

Raising the orange alert routinely sends state and municipal governments into action -- deploying additional police and National Guard units to bridges, nuclear power plants, airports and other possible terrorist targets. Local authorities already operating under significant budget constraints pick up the tab for overtime and other expenses.

Navarette said the state had not yet come up with an estimate as to how much the alerts have cost Arizona or will cost the state in the coming years. The federal government has appropriated $28 million for Arizona for homeland security. About $3.5 million will cover past expenses and the rest will be divided among the state and county governments for costs accrued over the next two years.

In addition to the expense, Navarette proposed that the periodic nationwide orange alerts tend to dilute the public's sense of urgency.

"We have to be mindful of the fact that if we continue to do this and nothing happens, that it loses impact with the citizenry," he said. "It becomes a 'here we go again' mentality."

Kris Mayes, a spokeswoman for Gov. Janet Napolitano, said the governor agreed with Navarette, however would not rule out automatically ignoring the next orange alert.

"We're most likely to continue to follow the recommendation, but we will look at our own intelligence," Mayes said.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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Arizona's governor and homeland security director both support the idea of not following the federal government's lead in ratcheting up security measures unless a specific threat to the state is detected. "It creates incredible problems: overtime, financial,...
Report:,Arizona,May,Sit,Out,Orange,Alerts
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2003-00-01
Sunday, 01 June 2003 12:00 AM
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