Since 9/11, billions of dollars have flowed from the federal government to states in the form of grants for security equipment. Other than occasional news reports it was hard to track down how all that money is being spent. The Center For Investigative Reporting has an ongoing project [link no longer available] that obtains the documents that show exactly where these dollars are going. Among other things they show how much states are spending on surveillance. For this update, we show you how to navigate the docs to see what your state or county spent on surveillance.
When agencies receive federal grants they are audited to document how the funds were used, if there were used in compliance with the grant guidelines and if they were used effectively. The results of these audits become public records that can be obtained using opens records requests. However, it would be a tedious process for an individual this for every state and county. In this case the Center For Investigative Reporting compiled this information for the public to look at.
The CIR project is available here [link no longer available]and looks like this: