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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 29, 2009

SCHUMER, KING: SECURING THE CITIES PROGRAM CRITICAL TO STOPPING A TERRORIST ATTACK IN NYC -- FEDERAL LEGISLATORS ANNOUNCE THEY WILL FIGHT TO RESTORE AND FULLY FUND VITAL SECURITY PLAN, TOP PRIORITY FOR THE NYPD


DHS Cancelled Funding for On-Going and Expanding Program

Vital System Sets Up Ring of Radiological Detectors and Cameras At Bridges and Tunnels In and Out of Metro Area

Keeps Nuclear and Radiological Devices Out

United States Senator Charles E. Schumer and Congressmen Peter King today announced that they are going to fight to restore and fully fund for Commissioner Kelly's Securing the Cities (STC) initiative. STC is a federally funded effort to protect New York City from the threat of a makeshift nuclear device or a radiological dispersal device, also known as a dirty bomb. The critical investment ensures that the more than $73 million already invested in the program by U.S. taxpayers will not be wasted, law enforcement institutions will have the resources to prevent a terrorist attack, and that vital infrastructure, such as bridges and tunnels, will be protected from the threat of an enemy nuclear attack. The potential of a terrorist attack in New York City involving a nuclear or radiological weapon is still a serious concern for law enforcement and it has become increasingly important that the need to secure our cities from the threat of a terrorist or nuclear attack is not ignored or forgotten.

 

“Securing the Cities is an indispensable tool used to protect the population, transit hubs, and commercial centers of New York City from the possibility of a devastating nuclear or dirty bomb attack,” Schumer said. “Following 9-11, the federal government correctly put resources into this program and NYPD is leading  the way in implementing this high-tech system, but we need  federal  funding to provide sufficient resources to finish the job. If this funding is secured, STC will be back to the level needed to ensure the effectiveness of New York City’s  -- and the nations’ -- front line of defense.”

 

“Very simply, the New York City region is the number one terrorist target,” said Representative King. “To shortchange funding for this critical program which will help protect this area from a terrorist attack carried out by a radiological or nuclear weapon is the height of irresponsibility.”

 

New York City is the first site for the Securing the Cities program, which creates a multi-layered ring of sensors throughout the tri-state area. Sensors at highways, toll plazas, bridges, tunnels, and waterways can detect radioactive and nuclear material before it enters the City. Detection devices have already been placed at major entry points into the City and distributed to law enforcement partners in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.  Additional funding is needed to purchase more sensors, link the equipment, and conduct training exercises. 

 

Maintaining STC will give Congress the opportunity to support the nation’s only program dedicated to preventing a radiological or nuclear terrorist attack on New York City. The FY2010 funding will provide New York City with the resources necessary to sustain and enhance current anti-nuclear and radioactive attack operations by NYPD and other law enforcement agencies, and complete the fixed-site radiation detection projects at toll plazas, bridges, and tunnels.

 

Additionally, it will provide for the networking of intelligence data and the wireless monitoring of all sensors.

 

STC is an excellent example of interagency and intergovernmental collaboration with regional partners and the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO).The prospect of a terrorist attack against New York involving a nuclear weapon or “dirty bomb” remains a tremendous concern and it has become increasingly important that government and law enforcement not ignore the need to secure New York City from the threat of a terrorist or nuclear attack. STC is a valuable program that is safe, secure, and reliable. Most importantly, if given the resources it needs to carry out its objective, the country will have a framework that can be utilized by cities across the country to create similar programs. Unfortunately, without the continued investment in the STC initiative, law enforcement authorities will not have the tools to provide the safety, protection, and preparation that citizens and cities need.

 

STC is a federally funded effort to protect New York City from the threat of an improvised nuclear device or a radiological dispersal device, also known as a dirty bomb. STC was originally proposed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2006. DHS provides the technical expertise and funding for research and development, while state and local regional partners provide human resources and, in the case of the NYPD, various foundational technical infrastructure systems.

 

Representatives King and Yvette Clarke were able secure $40 million for the program in the house and I was able to put in $10 million in the Senate. However, now the two bills have to be negotiated and combined this month and the funding could be reduced.

 

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