February 22, 2016
By Stephanie West
New York, NY- Vowing to fight for anti-terrorism funding, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer called on Congress to fully fund the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) program.
The UASI program provides funding to address the unique needs of high-threat, high-density urban areas, and to assists these localities in building sustainable capacity to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism. UASI was recommended for a national funding level of only $330 million in the President’s request for Fiscal Year 2017, after being funded at $600 million in Fiscal Year 2016.
“I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, UASI is the cornerstone of effective preparedness and prevention against terrorist threats and enables the NYPD to do all they can to keep New Yorkers safe and secure,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “With ISIS-inspired attacks and terrorism on the rise all across the globe, we must make sure that America has the resources it needs to remain protected. It makes no sense for the administration to slash critically needed anti-terrorism funding, especially at a time when we are all on high alert.”
The Homeland Security Grant Program plays an important role in the implementation of the National Preparedness System and is comprised of three interconnected grant programs: The Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI), the State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) and Operation Stonegarden. Together, these grant programs fund a range of preparedness activities, including planning, organization, equipment purchase, training exercises, and management and administration.
Urban municipalities like New York City rely on UASI funds to maintain terrorism prevention and response infrastructure. New York City has used a portion of UASI funds to support crucial First Responder Training and Police Department Counter-Terrorism activities.
“New York City remains a top terror target. To cut funding – for a city the entire federal government acknowledges is the top terror target – is indefensible,” said Police Commissioner William J. Bratton. “This would cut funding for the NYPD’s entire intelligence analyst program, vapor wake dogs, cameras monitoring high profile locations, and all of our radiological and chemical sensors. Who thought this would be a good idea?”