Dept. of Homeland Security’s Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) Program Provides Critical Funding To Terror-Target Cities, With High Proportions Going To New York; Programs Funds Key Tools To Keep NYPD A Step Ahead Of Terrorists
New York City, NY - February 16th, 2016 - U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer said today that the White House’s recently released budget proposal makes dramatic and ill-advised cuts to funding for critical anti-terrorism programs that enable New York law enforcement to prevent and respond to terror attacks.
The Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), which helps cities to prevent, mitigate, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism, was recommended for a 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.
Schumer said that the budget request, which cuts UASI nearly in half, is ill-advised and far from adequate, and vowed to fight for an increase in UASI and related anti-terror funds for New York. The UASI program provides funding to address the unique needs of high-threat, high-density urban areas like the New York metropolitan area. Schumer noted that the President has been strong on security in general but this most recent funding cut by bureaucrats was a mistake.
“In light of recent attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, and the vow by our extremist enemies to launch more attacks on our shores, it makes no sense for bureaucrats in Washington to propose cuts to vital terror-prevention programs like UASI,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer.
“New York City remains terror target #1 and the NYPD relies on these programs to keep us safe -- something they have done a very good job of since 9-11.”
“These proposed cuts are ill-advised and ill-timed and they must be reversed. End of story,” Schumer added. “UASI is the cornerstone of effective preparedness and prevention against terror attacks; it enables the NYPD to do all it can to keep New Yorkers safe and secure. 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. I will fight tooth and nail in Congress to make sure that UASI funds are increased in New York City and across the country.”
The Homeland Security Grant Program also 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. Schumer has long advocated for robust UASI funding for New York City through the Congressional appropriations process. Schumer has also been successful in preventing planned cuts to already allocated UASI funding.
Schumer explained that urban cities like New York City rely on UASI funds to maintain terrorism prevention and response infrastructure. For instance, Schumer explained that 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 heavy-weapons teams that conduct ongoing patrols at transit hubs, airports, bridges, subways, waterways and highly visited landmarks.