WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKBW) -- Read the full press release regarding DHS funds for WNY below:
Today U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will allocate a total of $6,578,313 to the Buffalo-Niagara area under the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI and port security programs. The UASI Grants are part of the Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) designed to enhance the ability of state, territory, local and tribal governments to prepare for, prevent, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks and other disasters. The UASI programs provide funding to select high-threat, high-density urban areas that are at high risk for terrorist attack to help them prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism. Port security funding will be used for the protection of infrastructure from potential terrorist attacks.
“Western New York has extensive security needs and the burden shouldn’t be placed on local tax payers to foot the whole bill,” Schumer said. “This funding will help reduce the financial burden and allow our local law enforcement to deal with terrorism and at the same time deal with equally important day to day duties. Providing anti-terrorism funding to the Buffalo-Niagara area is essential to deterring a future terrorist attack and I will continue to fight on behalf of all New Yorkers to ensure we get our fair share.”
The Buffalo-Niagara Falls Metropolitan area contains numerous assets that are vulnerable to attack and are critically important to the state and the nation. Western New York is home to a busy border crossing with Canada that provides a port of entry into the United States for 13 million people a year and millions of dollars in goods. This commercial and tourist traffic flows across four international bridges – the Peace Bridge, the Rainbow Bridge, the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge and the Whirlpool Bridge – all of which are symbolically significant and present potential terrorist targets. Moreover, the nation’s highest concentration of hydroelectric power sources is located in this area, providing a major electricity source for the Eastern United States. Finally, the region is home to the iconic Niagara Falls, visited by millions of people each year.
The funding will be administered as follows:
- $5,544,750 through the Urban Areas Security Initiative awards program which focuses on enhancing regional preparedness in major metropolitan areas. The UASI program is intended to assist participating jurisdictions in developing integrated regional systems for prevention, protection, response, and recovery.
- $1,033,563 through the Port Security Grant Program for the protection of critical port infrastructure from terrorism. The funds will help ports enhance their risk management capabilities, domain awareness, training and exercises, and capabilities to prevent, detect, respond to, and recover from attacks involving improvised explosive devices, and weapons of mass destruction and other non-conventional weapons
The core mission of the Department of Homeland Security is to enhance the ability of state, territory, local and tribal governments to prepare for, prevent, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks and other disasters. The HSGP is a primary funding mechanism for building and sustaining national preparedness capabilities. Per the 9/11 Act and the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act of 2009 (Public Law 110-329), states are required to ensure that at least 25 percent of their UASI award funds are dedicated towards law enforcement terrorism prevention activities.