Schumer Calls On DHS To Increase High-Threat Funding For NYC By 40 Percent
This Week's Security Ramp Up, in Wake of British Terror Threats, Shows NYC Needs the Money With DHS Decision Expected Early This Month, Schumer Calls on Chertoff to Reverse Last Year's 40 Percent Slash, Send NYC at Least $207 Million Amid New Reports of Possible Major Terrorist Attack This Summer, Senator Says Now is Not the Time to Watch the Bottom Line
In the wake of this weekend's terrorist activity in Great Britain and new reports about possible major attacks this summer, today U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer called on Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to boost the federal security aid for the city by at least 40 percent over Fiscal Year (FY) 2006 levels, reversing last year's inexplicable cuts. DHS last year slashed New York City share of high threat funding by 40 percent, from $207.6 million to only $124.5 million for FY 2006. DHS is expected to announce how it will allocate funding from the FY 2007 pool of money in two or three weeks.
"DHS must not give New York short shrift again," Schumer said. "After New York City shelled out for overtime and other costs just this weekend, it's obvious that our brave first responders should never have to provide security on the cheap. Last year's cuts were inexplicable and inexcusable, but now DHS has a chance to make it right. DHS must give the NYPD and all New York area first responders the tools and, most importantly, the resources they need to keep us safe this summer."
After two failed bombing attempts in London and a successful car bomb attack on the Glasgow airport this weekend, the NYPD beefed up security across New York City, extending shifts for police officers and asking many to do double duty. According to the NYPD, during periods of high alert, the City can spend over $1 million per week just on overtime personnel costs. Schumer said that when DHS cuts funding for New York, the NYPD has to cut back in other areas, sometimes security related, in order to pay their officers.
This month, the Department of Homeland Security is expected to release funding allocations for its major state and local grant programs, including the State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP), and the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) program that gives money only to high threat urban areas. This funding will be for FY 2007. Last year, funding for New York State and New York City was cut significantly in comparison to FY 2005.
Last year, the overall funding for the UASI program was cut from $829.7 million in FY 2005 to $710.6 million in FY 2006, a 14 percent drop. However, New York City's allocation was slashed by a disproportionate 40 percent, from $207.6 million to only $124.5 million. In FY 2005, New York City received 25 percent of the high threat funding, but for FY2006, New York City only received 18 percent of the funding.
Schumer today wrote to Secretary Chertoff asking him to ensure New York City receives at least $207 million for its FY 2007 allocation, a more than $80 million increase from last year and the same amount of funding received in FY 2005. For FY2007, there will be $747 million available for highthreat urbanareas comprising 45 cities across the country, a $37 million overall increase from last year.
According to ABC News, a secret U.S. law enforcement report, prepared for the Department of Homeland Security, warns that al Qaeda may be planning major terror attacks for this summer.
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