In keeping with today's apparant railway-related theme, let me comment on the Dept. of Justice's decision not to fund the technology needed to allow Philly first responders' communication equipment to work underground.
Think Progress put it this way:
Philadelphia is trying to improve its first responder capabilities, but the government isn’t helping out. The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) has decided that Pocatello, Idaho (population 51,466), needs emergency communications equipment more than Philadelphia (population 1,517,550) does.
COPS denied Philadelphia $6 million to upgrade its first responder equipment so that police officers, firefighters, and paramedics could use their radio equipment underground and in tunnels, which the current equipment will not do.
Albert followed up with his own commentary.
I am in some of those tunnels on a fairly regular basis and would really like to see first responders have the upgrade. They can currently borrow SEPTA equipment that does work underground but if they are down there in an emergency situation, trying to keep track of one, not to mention two, walkie talkies is going to be tough. The other option is to set up a "shouting line" to carry information along. If we all remember playing the gossip game as a kid, we can imagine who effective that would be, especially in case of a fire or crash or something else noisy.
However, I question the use of the word "deny." In most government funded programs a certain amount of money is set aside; no one is guaranteed funding (unless your senator or congressperson is on the right committee and can call in some favors). So it wasn't denied; it wasn't funded. I wish it had been.
However, there has been some insinuation that the smaller cities that were funded, in states like Iowa, Idaho, and New Mexico, for example, don't need such equipment. To that I respond with two words: Oklahoma City.
I think the best thing to do is gather more information, make a more convincing case, and try to get the equipment in the next funding round, or from another agency.