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Updated: 03/20/2012 6:07 PM
Created: 02/14/2012 8:04 PM | Print |  Email
By: Mark Albert, Erik Altmann, & Mike Maybay

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Investigates: Safety Sense

nullMillions of dollars of your money are supposed to be spent to keep you safe.

But some say the homeland security money is not being spent wisely in Minnesota.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS asks whether all that spending makes Safety Sense.



Feb. 15, 2012 at 10pm: Watch our initial investigation above.

Feb. 16, 2012 at 10pm: Non-profits are also getting homeland security money, including places of worship.

Feb. 28, 2012 at 10pm: A bill introduced at the Legislature would lay the foundation for state funding of MNJAC, the state's anti-terrorism and crime fighting fusion center.

Mar. 14, 2012 at 10pm: A MnJAC bill passes a Legislative hearing, but not before running into opposition from privacy advocates.

Mar. 20, 2012 at 10pm: The director of MnJAC resigns to take a job with a law enforcement software company amid scrutiny of his agency.



View the 72% decline in federal homeland security grant money given to Minnesota since 2004. Since 2004, the state has been awarded $290 million in homeland security grants.

View the 65% decline in federal homeland security grants given to run the Minnesota Joint Analysis Center (MNJAC), the state's only anti-terrorism and crime-fighting fusion center, while at the same time it spent $14,064 on promotional items.

Read about the federal Nonprofit Security Grant program which gives homeland security money to qualifying non profits, including places of worship.

Read the statement from Congregation Bais Yisroel about its successful application for a $12,905 nonprofit security grant for security cameras, door locks, and concrete barriers.

Read the bill, introduced by Rep. Kelby Woodard (R-Belle Plaine) on Feb. 22, 2012, in the Minnesota House of Representatives that would extend, for the first time, state authority to operate a fusion center such as the MNJAC. A hearing on the bill was held on Wed, March 14, 2012. Watch our story covering the hearing here.



Watch an extended interview with Rep. Tony Cornish, chairman of the House Public Safety & Crime Prevention Policy, who will lead a hearing into the Minnesota Joint Analysis Center (MNJAC) and sees no state funding for MNJAC "a threat" to its survival.

Watch an extended interview with Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, who sent a letter to Governor Dayton calling on first-ever state funding to guarantee MNJAC's survival and to force it to focus more on statewide crime.

Watch an extended interview with Mike Bosacker, director of the Minnesota Joint Analysis Center (MNJAC) about the $14,064 in promotional items his fusion center purchased with homeland security money and the center's mission.

Watch an extended interview with Kris Eide, Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management director about how the state approves homeland security spending.

Watch an extended interview with Jim Franklin, executive director of the Minnesota Sheriffs Association, about his "constructive criticism" of MNJAC's financial security and how it helps local agencies fight statewide crime.

Watch an extended interview with Tom Schatz, president of the Washington, D.C.-based nonpartisan group, Citizens Against Government Waste, who says some Minnesota homeland security spending "don't pass the smell test."

Watch an extended interview with Deb Paige, director of Washington county Emergency Management about her agency's purchase of $1,627 worth of tornado tubes from the Science Museum of Minnesota. 

Watch an extended interview with Rabbi Marcia Zimmerman of Temple Israel in Minneapolis, talking about the synagogue's successful application for a federal non-profit homeland security grant worth $28,942.93.




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