Southern California breaking news and trends

Report on wasteful DHS spending targets Oxnard-Thousand Oaks

Office of Senator Tom Coburn

An armored vehicle purchased with anti-terrorism grant funds in Fargo, ND.

The Oxnard-Thousand Oaks area saw a near-historic drop in crime in the past few years, but that didn't stop the region from seeking millions in anti-terrorism funds, according to a new report from Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.

The report highlights several areas in the U.S.  Coburn said have played up their threat levels to win lucrative grants.

"Two percent of the 3,143 counties in the U.S. were identified as hot spots for terror-related threats with only Manhattan and Los Angeles remaining as hot spots of activity across each decade," according to the report. Yet the Department of Homeland Security has identified 62 areas to receive grants through its Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI). Among them, Oxnard-Thousand Oaks, which has received over $5 million to fight local terrorism threats.

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TSA 'PreCheck' program arrives at LAX with speedy security options

Mercer 6715

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LAX

A new, passenger pre-screening program will have travelers flying through TSA security ASAP at LAX.

The Transportation Security Administration "PreCheck" pilot program touches down at Los Angeles International Airport on Jan. 18, offering pre-approved fliers an expedited security experience. 

At check-in, PreCheck enrolled passengers will not have to go shoeless and beltless, they can leave liquids and laptops inside carry-on luggage, as they mosey a reserved fast path through the security area.

Expedited screening does not guarantee immunity from standard security restrictions, however. Random searches and unexpected measures are still a possibility.

As part of the program's application process, individuals are required to release personal information, submit to fingerprinting and background checks, and participate in a face-to-face interview. 

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