U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that the New York City area is set to receive a lion’s share of a $665 million dollar pot of federal Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) funds, an agreement reached as part of the larger budget deal needed to pass by the end of this month. The UASI program provides funding to address the unique needs of high-threat, high-density urban areas by helping to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism. The $665 million represents an increase of 56% from the President’s request earlier in the year of $426 million.
“Everyone knows New York remains a number one terror target and a place where evil-doers look to exploit weak links,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer “Federal security funds, like UASI, are the cornerstone of effective preparedness and prevention against terror threats and enable the NYPD to do all they can to keep New Yorkers safe and secure. These dollars prevent costly and crippling disasters, but more importantly, these dollars save lives and so, it is good news that as part of the federal budget deal we were able to secure both an increase in anti-terror funds to New York as compared to the President’s budget, and an increase over last year, too.”
“It is a tragedy that New York and places across the country still face the threat of terrorism and violence. No one should ever have to live in fear of being the target of a terror attack,” said U.S. Senator Gillibrand. “I’m pleased that the end of the year spending bill will include funding I fought for to bolster anti-terrorism efforts and help law enforcement protect our communities. These critical funds will also provide nonprofits and places of worship that are at risk of being targeted with the resources they need to enhance their security and help prevent attacks. I will always do everything I can to help keep New Yorkers safe.”
The UASI program provides funding to address the unique needs of high-threat, high-density urban areas like the New York metropolitan area. Schumer said that these funds help keep us one step ahead of the terrorists and New York City needs all the UASI funds it can get to help make sure we are kept safe.
Schumer and Gillibrand explained that urban cities like New York City rely on UASI funds to maintain terrorism prevention and response infrastructure. For instance, New York City uses a portion of UASI funds to support crucial First Responder Training efforts. Examples of this include the Fire Department’s (FDNY) Tiered Response Training and the Police Department’s (NYPD) Counter-Terrorism Training, such as the active shooter course. UASI funds also pay for coordinated regional planning exercises throughout the New York City Metropolitan area. The exercises are designed to prepare and coordinate multi-jurisdictional emergency response related to a large and catastrophic event. UASI funds have been used on Ground Law Enforcement Security Measures, which includes teams that conduct ongoing patrols at transit hubs, airports, bridges, subways, waterways and highly visited landmarks.