August 27, 2016
By Neal Tepel
New York, NY – Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton have reiterated the necessity of Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) funding – New York City’s main source of federal homeland security funds.
New York City faces the highest risk from terror attacks of any city in the nation, and UASI funds – which are distributed based on risk – go toward emergency preparedness and response.
“New York City depends on funding provided by the Urban Area Security Initiative to help keep our streets safe. Any change in this funding disrupts the system. Continuity over time is vital, as preparations require planning,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “New York City remains the most targeted city in the United States and one of the most targeted cities in the world. Thanks to continued resources and our fearless leaders, since 2001, we have thwarted 20 terrorist plots against New York City – four of which were in the past two years alone. As a city that 8.5 million Americans call home, and one that annually hosts almost 60 million people from all corners of the globe, it is critical that we restore and maintain these necessary funds.”
The UASI program provides funding to address the unique needs of high-threat, high-density urban areas, and to assist these localities in building sustainable capacity to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism. The President’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget proposed a national funding level of only $330 million, an almost 50 percent cut from Fiscal Year 2016. This would result in a $90 million cut for New York City, hindering the City’s ability to expand and improve necessary counterterrorism programs. Mayor de Blasio stands with Congress in their efforts to restore full funding.
“After 9/11, New York City remains one of the top terror targets in the world. It is critical that Congress fully funds the Urban Area Security Initiative grant program so we can thwart terrorist attacks and keep New York families safe. I will fight in Congress to make certain New York City has the resources it needs to be a model for the rest of the country when it comes to preventing and combating terrorism,” said Congressman Steve Israel.