City Secures Anti-Terror Funding, Will Support Surveillance Program in Downtown Manhattan
In the face of steep cuts, the city will receive millions in anti-terror funding, Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced this morning.
New York City has secured a total of $151,579,096 in Urban Areas Security Initiative Funding, which comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
In a release sent out this morning, the senators said that the UASI program is the lifeblood of New York's anti-terror programs and funds a massive surveillance program for downtown Manhattan -- which is also being expanded into Times Square and midtown.
They also announced that New York is set to receive the entire funding pot of $22 million for a program called Securing the Cities. It funds a New York Police Department program used to detect potential radiological devices that are brought over bridges and tunnels into Manhattan.
New York's funding stream will remain stable while the rest of the country is forced to weather a 42 percent reduction, Schumer said.
"This is a major victory for New York City and a strong acknowledgement that Homeland Security dollars should be allocated based on risk, and risk alone," Schumer said in the release. "It's a sound and sober decision and reflects the fact that New York City remains the number one target for terrorists who wish to do the United States harm."
Earlier this week, Schumer spoke out about the Iranian diplomats assigned to work at the United Nations, urging "additional scrutiny" of the Iranian mission in New York.
His statements came on the heels of a series of terrorist activities overseas that targeted Israeli officials and were found to be linked to the Iranian government.
The news of this funding also comes a few days after Mitchell Silber, director of intelligence analysis for the NYPD, told the Daily News that New York City is "essentially" the number one target of Iranian terrorists.
In other New York City public safety news, Mayor Mike Bloomberg praised the passage of a bill today that will allow first responders to transmit critical, real-time information during emergencies. The "interoperability legislation" will allocate a portion of the broadcast spectrum to public safety -- a recommendation of the 9/11 Commission.
"In New York City we have worked tirelessly to make interoperability of emergency communications a reality...Congress has finally made progress on one of the key recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. This action will not only benefit the public safety officers who risk their lives while performing their duties but will also help every American they serve," Bloomberg said in a statement.
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