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Ohio’s largest county has received $72 million in the past decade to prevent and fight terrorism, and a newspaper analysis has found officials largely spent the money practically and avoided the types of purchases that drew auditors’ attention in other areas.

Agencies in Cuyahoga County used federal money doled out after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to buy items ranging from the simple to the high-tech, from traffic cones to a robot used to defuse bombs. Safety officials also put the funding toward an electronic fingerprint identification system in the jails and radios that will let all area police and fire departments communicate in emergencies, The Plain Dealer reported Sunday.

“It was never a shopping spree,” said Norberto Colon, the county’s deputy chief of staff for justice affairs. “We had legitimate needs in Cleveland. We never had to make up stuff to spend our money on.”

In total, Ohio has received Homeland Security Grants worth $493 million since 2002, and the Cleveland area was eligible for some of the biggest grants because it had high-risk factors, such as its large population, its airports and its location along the northern U.S. border.

Source: The Associated Press via The Republic.

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