$2 million to be used by local squads to procure necessary equipment, attend advanced training, and participate in training exercises
$500,000 allocated to 14 local law enforcement agencies across New York State to build or maintain an Explosive Detection Canine Team
Governor Cuomo announced $2 million in federal Homeland Security Grant funding to 12 local, FBI-accredited bomb squads across the state to sustain and enhance their capabilities. This marks the 10th consecutive year that New York State has provided dedicated federal homeland security funding to local bomb squads, with over $15 million being since its inception.
“The safety and security of all New Yorkers is our top priority, and this funding will help local law enforcement agencies be ready and equipped for what comes their way," Governor Cuomo said. "These officers are on the front lines and with these grants, we can help ensure they have what they need when confronted with these incredibly dangerous situations."
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner John Melville said, “This grant funding is critically important to local law enforcement to fortify their preparedness and response capabilities and will provide the State’s certified Bomb Squads with the tools they need to help properly detect, identify and safely dispose of explosive devices.”
As a condition of this funding, squads are required to work together regionally (based on FBI regions) to review their capability strengths and gaps and to develop a regional spending plan for these funds. Squads in each region must reach consensus on their respective spending plans to ensure that funds are being used in the most efficient and effective way possible. Funding breakdowns by FBI region are below:
Fiscal Year 2015 Component Allocations
Fiscal Year 2015 Allocation
Downstate New York Region
New York City
Central New York Region
Village of Endicott
City of Syracuse
Western New York Region
City of Rochester
The State is also allocating $500,000 to 14 local law enforcement agencies across New York to build or maintain an Explosive Detection Canine Team. This marks the 7th consecutive year that New York has provided dedicated federal homeland security funding to build and sustain local explosive detection canine teams; over $3 million has been allocated to support this program since its inception.
Explosive Detection Canine Teams provide a visible, proactive deterrent factor in high-risk areas, such as mass gathering events and critical infrastructure sites. Local law enforcement agencies were required to compete for this funding and could request funds to either build a new team or to sustain an existing team. Funding breakdowns by jurisdiction are below:
Tract 1: Developing a Team
New York City (NYPD)
City of Utica
City of Troy
Tract 2: Sustaining/Enhancing a Team
Cortland and Chenango Counties
New York City (NYPD)
City of Rochester
City of Troy
Town of Saugerties PD *
Ulster and Green Counties; City of Kingston
To further support the state’s bomb squad community, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services hosts annual “Bomb Squad Symposiums” that bring together local, state, federal, and international bomb technicians to share information, lessons learned, and best practices. New York State recently announced the “Excelsior Challenge” at the State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany, NY. The “Excelsior Challenge,” developed in conjunction with the National Center for Security and Preparedness, is designed to enhance coordination and integration among bomb squads, canine teams, and tactical teams.
Senator Charles E. Schumer said, “When it comes to protecting New York from would-be terrorists, we must be tough, smart and prepared. This federal Department of Homeland Security investment for bomb squads and canine teams will provide these local police forces with the equipment and training they need to keep us safe. Making sure the brave men, women—and even canine teams— that serve in local law enforcement have the resources they need to continue their important work will always be a top priority of mine.”
Congressman Charles B. Rangel said, “I applaud Governor Cuomo for providing vital funding to our local FBI bomb squads. The additional funding will ensure our first responders will have the proper training and equipment available to safeguard our local communities during times of emergency.”
Congressman Eliot Engel said, “As New Yorkers, we are all keenly aware of how critical it is for local law enforcement to have the proper resources and funding for homeland security initiatives,” said Congressman Eliot Engel. “The men and women in our local bomb squad units, along with their canine partners, are some of the bravest public servants around. They risk their lives every time they are called into service, and their heroism deserves both our recognition and governmental support. I am pleased these federal funds have once again been allocated to New York State, and I thank Governor Cuomo for his continued and steadfast commitment to our security.”
Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey said, “Thorough training for emergency response teams is essential to prepare for catastrophic events, particularly in New York. I’m pleased Westchester and Rockland will receive nearly $400,000 in federal funding to enhance the capabilities of their bomb squad teams, which save lives. I will continue working as Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee to ensure our first responders have the resources they need to keep our communities safe and secure.”
Congressman José E. Serrano said, “It’s been 14 years since September 11th, but ensuring the safety of New Yorkers remains as important as ever. This important federal funding will help strengthen NYC’s security and ability to respond to potential terrorist attacks or other security threats. I applaud Governor Cuomo for continuing to focus on this important area,” said Congressman Serrano.
Congressman Peter King said, "As the top target of international terrorism, New York’s security is essential. These funds will go a long way to bolstering our defense and preparedness.”
Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney said, “New York must be prepared for any threat, so this federal investment in our bomb squads and explosive detection canine teams is essential. These grants will keep New Yorkers safe by ensuring that our first responders – human and canine – have the training they need. I applaud Governor Cuomo for his continued efforts to ensure New York has the best first responders in the nation, and I will continue supporting federal funding to help with that effort.”
Congressman Gregory W. Meeks said, "I commend Governor Cuomo for prioritizing public safety and security in Long Island and New York City and State. With these grants, our law enforcement organizations will improve their capability to detect and defuse explosive devices. I stand with Governor Cuomo to make our streets and communities safe and free from terror.”
Rep. Joe Crowley said, “There is no doubt that these federal investments are essential to New York’s ongoing emergency preparedness efforts. Our number one priority is ensuring the safety of every New Yorker and I thank Governor Cuomo for his role in making sure local law enforcement agencies are getting the resources they need to continue responding effectively to any threats to our security.”
Congressman Steve Israel said, “At a time when our nation is on high alert for terror attacks, it is critical that our bomb squads and canine teams have robust funding to train and purchase life-saving equipment. These federal resources will help first responders of Nassau and Suffolk County continue working to keep our communities and residents safe and secure.”
Congressman Brian Higgins, a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said, “When protecting our communities, first responders seldom get credit for what doesn’t happen, but the need to be ready when something does is still just as critical. This federal funding from the Department of Homeland Security will help prepare and train New York’s brave first responders to detect threats of danger and ensure the safety of New Yorkers.”
Congressman Paul Tonko said, “Explosive Detection Canine Teams around the state are critical for the safety and security of all New Yorkers. This funding will make sure that these teams are receiving the essential funding and training they need to effectively protect our communities. I thank Governor Cuomo for recognizing the need for these funds in the Capital Region, and I look forward to working with his office to ensure these needs continue to be met.”
U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna said, “This funding will assist our local communities in the Village of Endicott, City of Utica, and in the counties of Madison, Chenango and Cortland prepare first responders to be ready to act when an emergency situation arises. New York state will continue to lead the nation in emergency preparedness and ensure our first responders have the most advanced training and enhanced equipment at their disposal.”
Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney said, "This investment for Westchester will support the brave men and women who risk their lives to keep us safe and give them the tools they need to do their jobs. This is a critical step to protecting and serving our communities in the best way that we can, and giving families in the Hudson Valley the peace of mind to live safely and happily."
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng said, “It is critical for bomb squads and canine teams throughout our state to receive the money they need. These critical funds will go a long way towards helping with operation, training and other costs, and the money will ensure that law enforcement agencies have the resources they need to keep the public safe. Thanks to Governor Cuomo and the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.”
Representative Kathleen Rice said, “New Yorkers live every day with the very real threat of terrorism, and it’s crucial that we arm our local law enforcement agencies with the tools and advanced training they need to prepare for and prevent an attack. I’m pleased that the federal government is continuing to invest in the security of our district and state, and I’ll keep working to ensure we’re fully prepared to protect the people we serve.”
Congressman Lee Zeldin said, “With the rising threat of terrorism and lone wolf attacks in the United States, we must be best prepared and ever vigilant. This funding will go a long way in ensuring New York’s Bomb Squads and Canine Teams have access to the resources and training they need to keep all of us safe. One of my top priorities in Congress is protecting America’s interests at home and abroad and I’m proud to partner with Governor Cuomo on this initiative.”
Congressman Dan Donovan said, "Last week in the New York Post, I wrote that now is not the time to waiver in our vigilance against terrorism. New York City remains a top target, and we must continue making investments to guard against attack. Thank you to Secretary Johnson and Governor Cuomo for this vital allocation."
The SPTC was also one of four host sites nationally for the 2015 Raven’s Challenge in June, which was an exercise designed to increase coordination between Public Safety Bomb Squads and Military Explosive Ordnance Disposal Units.
About Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and its four offices -- Counter Terrorism, Emergency Management, Fire Prevention and Control, and Interoperable and Emergency Communications -- provide leadership, coordination and support for efforts to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorism and other man-made and natural disasters, threats, fires and other emergencies. For more information, visit the Facebook page, follow @NYSDHSES on Twitter, or visit dhses.ny.gov.