Stabenow Says First Responders Need Better Equipment

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Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow says the nation's first-responders do not have the communication equipment they need to effectively deal with emergencies.

Stabenow unsuccessfully sought new homeland security funding that would have helped police, fire and rescue, and emergency responders communicate with law enforcement and Homeland Security officials.

Law enforcement and emergency rescue officials complain that they are frequently unable to coordinate with federal agencies during an emergency. Michigan officials also note the state has about 1200 fewer police officers on the street compared to pre-September 11 levels.

Stabenow's measure was defeated as part of a larger Homeland Security spending plan debated by the Senate.