New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that $185 million in grants will be allocated to towns and cities across New York State to improve anti-terrorism initiatives, bomb squads, 911 upgrades, and homeland security programs. The federal government, in conjunction with the state of New York, will provide these grants.
“More than $160 million will go to agencies in the New York City metropolitan are. Nine million dollars will go to counties around the state to pay for upgrades to local 911 emergency systems. Another $2 million will pay for equipment and training for hazardous materials crews,” reports the Washington Examiner.
$2 million of this money will go towards 12 bomb squads that operate around the state, and $500,000 will be spent on training programs for bomb-sniffing dogs.
“From September 11th to Superstorm Sandy, our first responders and local law enforcement agencies have been essential to protecting New Yorkers and keeping our communities safe. These grants are vital to supporting their work, and I am confident that they will go a long way toward building a stronger and more resilient State,” said Governor Cuomo in an announcement conference in Albany.
The funding for the security program overhauls comes from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through the State Homeland Security Program, the Urban Areas Security Initiative, and the Emergency Management Performance Grant. The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services will be managing these programs.
DHSES Commissioner Jerome M. Hauer said, “DHSES distributes critically important grant funds to local municipalities and first responders that help them fortify their preparedness and response capabilities. These grant funds will aid our local first responders in providing the most efficient and effective protective services to their communities.”
New York City will receive the majority of the grant money. Over $140 million is being spent on improving security measures in the Big Apple. Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Yonkers, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey make up another 20 or so million in aid.
The state of New York is hoping to improve its security infrastructure as we enter into the 14th year of the war on terror. Cuomo is aiming to prevent any attacks on New York soil.
The grant program will also help improve Cuomo’s credentials as governor, as bringing in $185 million worth of security upgrades into the state during an election year will better help him to appeal to voters.