Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

$54M in Terror Funds Doled Out in Advance of Summit

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Public safety officials say the $54.6 million in federal funds will be shared with the city, county and state to enhance training and surveillance systems and make sure first responders can communicate effectively.

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Rahm Stoked to Host NATO in Chicago

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is excited to show off Chicago when the Windy City hosts both NATO and the G8 Summit in spring 2012.
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Mayor Rahm Emanuel wanted the NATO/G8 summit in Chicago despite the security concerns that come with throwing the city onto the center stage of the globe's conflicts.

Now comes federal assistance to help ensure that event, and any other held in the city, goes off as smoothly as possible.

Public safety officials on Thursday announced they'd received more than $54 million in a federal grant. The first priority: making sure that first responders at all levels of local government can communicate effectively. Enhanced training and updated surveillance systems are also planned.

"The men and women of the fire and police services and emergency management are going to receive training. We're going to put money towards necessary maintenance and equipment purchases where they support that training exercising and support the needs that we have moving forward," said Michael Masters, the Executive Director of the Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Despite a federal investigation still underway into allegations that some of the $44 million in Homeland Security funds for the county's "Project Shield" were misspent, leaders promise transparency.

"As public servants, we all have a responsibility to the taxpayers and whenever there is an abuse of taxpayer money or mismanagement, it’s a violation of the public trust and that is always disappointing," Masters said when he was appointed by Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle back in May.

Tens of thousands of protestors are expected when representatives from the Group of Eight nations -- France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada, Russia and the United Kingdom and the U.S -- meet in Chicago from May 12 through May 22, 2012.

Members from roughly 50 groups from across North America recently met to discuss their protest strategies.

Related Topics Rahm Emanuel, NATO/G8, Security
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