News in Brief: City Given State Funding for Law Enforcement Technology



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Gov. Gray Davis granted Berkeley more than $100,000 to purchase crime-fighting equipment.

The grant is part of $30 million in state funding Davis' office distributed to 271 local law enforcement agencies based on population and the 1998 crime index.

The city and county of Los Angeles received a total of $6 million, and San Diego received $1.4 million. Berkeley's grant was for $115,550.

The money will be used to buy technologically advanced instruments such as audio, visual, video and surveillance equipment.

"California's law enforcement officers put their lives on the line for the rest of us every day," Davis said in a statement. "Law enforcement officers deserve the most up-to-date crime-fighting technology and this $30 million grant will go a long way toward ensuring that our officers have the equipment they need."

Berkeley is expected to receive its share of the grant by May 1.

UC Nurses to Send Postcards in Protest of Contract Talks

Nurses for the UC system are expected to deliver thousands of postcards to UC President Richard Atkinson today that express their dismay over the status of contract negotiations.

RNs from the UC Berkeley Student Health Center plan to participate in the delegation.

The California Nurses Association, which represents more than 7,000 nurses and nurse practitioners, has criticized the treatment of UCSF Stanford nurses who are returning to the UC system due to the failed hospital merger.

"President Atkinson has said he wants a new, improved relationship with UC nurses," CNA UC division director David Johnson said in a statement. "Unfortunately, we've seen just the opposite approach in contract talks."

The postcards advocate pay equity to retain high-quality nurses.

"Amid a critical nursing shortage throughout California, it is crucial that UC registered nurses have an increased ability to prevent erosions of quality patient care," according to the cards.

A UC spokesperson said the university will welcome the thousands of postcards.

"We're happy to take a look at the union's concerns and do what we can to address them," said spokesperson Brad Hayward.

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