California spent $800 million : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread California agencies spent $800 million to fend off Y2K bug

Monday, January 10, 2000 Breaking News Sections

(01-10) 11:59 PST LOS ANGELES (AP) -- State and local agencies in California spent more than $800 million on Y2K-related preparations ranging from checking computer systems to extra law enforcement.

Officials involved in the preparations say they were worthwhile, despite public perceptions that precautions seemed unnecessary.

``I've had people walk up in the grocery store and tell me what a bunch of hokum Y2K turned out to be,'' said Steve Steinbrecher, Contra Costa County's chief information officer. ``You can look at it that way, but I think the real reason Y2K was such a nonevent was because a lot of good people did a hell of a lot of hard work.''

The state spent $384 million protecting its network of computers.

For the city and county of Los Angeles, the total was $260 million.

The smoothness of the transition to 2000 was proof that $150 million used for computer upgrades was well-spent, said Jon Fullinwider, Los Angeles County's chief information officer.

``We had over 36,000 programs that were found to be noncompliant,'' Fullinwider said. ``We would not have been operationally viable on Jan. 1, 2000, if we had not made the changes.''

Long Beach spent $15 million, San Jose $11 million and San Francisco $9.5 million.

Orange County paid $18 million, Contra Costa County $20 million and Santa Clara County $35 million.

State and municipal leaders said they were certain the spending helped avert major public service breakdowns, and law enforcement officials said money spent on boosting police presence on New Year's helped maintain order.

``Prevention is hard to get credit for, because nothing happens,'' said David Vossbrink, a San Jose spokesman.

The Los Angeles Police Department put 2,400 officers on the streets, three times normal. San Francisco spent $1.1 million on extra policing, and Oakland budgeted an extra $300,000 to double its number of officers on duty to 400

-- Martin Thompson (, January 10, 2000

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