FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 22, 2010
SCHUMER ANNOUNCES FEDS APPROVE $18.5 MILLION FOR SECURING THE CITIES PROGRAM - TOP PRIORITY PROGRAM FOR THE NYPD IS CRITICAL TO STOPPING A TERRORIST ATTACK IN THE CITY
DHS Had Cancelled Funding for On-Going and Expanding Program - NYPD Now Will Receive $18.5 Million Out of a Possible $20 Million Made Available Nationwide
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
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that the Department of Homeland Security has approved $18.5 million 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. DHS had originally tried to cancel all funding for the program but, in September, Schumer announced he would fight to restore it. In the final appropriations bill, Congress approved a total of $20 million for a nationwide program to fund projects like “Securing the Cities” but, at Schumer’s urging, the NYPD now will receive the vast majority of the funding from the nationwide pool. 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. We are pleased the federal government saw the critical need for this program and gave us nearly all of the funding available.”
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.