Funding Bolsters Counterterrorism Efforts Already Underway to Secure Transit Systems and State’s International Border Funding Complements $54 Million Included in the FY 2017 Budget to Protect New Yorkers
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that more than $24 million in federal funding has been awarded to New York State in support of its counterterrorism efforts across the state. The funding, from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, strengthens critical efforts already underway between local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to protect transportation infrastructure and our borders from terrorism. The federal grants announced today complement a total $54 million included in the FY 2017 State Budget to protect New Yorkers and combat terrorism, as proposed by Governor Cuomo this spring.
“The safety and security of all New Yorkers is priority number one,” said Governor Cuomo. “This funding will ensure that those on the front lines have access to the equipment, resources and training they need to protect our communities from those who wish us harm. It is essential that we continue to remain vigilant and invest and support these counterterrorism efforts.”
$22.7 Million to Protect Transportation Systems
To directly support transportation infrastructure security activities, specifically against terrorist attacks, an additional $22.7 million has been awarded to three transportation authorities in New York State. The grants are part of the federal Transit Security Grant Program, and will be used to harden infrastructure, and planning, training and exercise activities.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is awarded $22,498,175, which is a more than $3 million increase over last year's award. The MTA funding includes $7,076,949 for the New York Police Department’s patrol and protection of the subway system. A total of $153,300 has also been awarded to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, and $25,000 to the Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority.
$1.6 Million to Secure International Borders
To enhance cooperation and coordination among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies that secure U.S. borders, an additional $1.6 million has been awarded. The grant is part of Operation Stonegarden. Grant awardees are below.
Customs/Border Patrol Sector: Buffalo
- Cayuga County: $96,180
- Chautauqua County: $137,778
- Erie County: $185,855
- Jefferson County: $121,779
- Monroe County: $144,178
- Niagara County: $172,976
- Orleans County: $112,179
- Oswego County: $105,780
- Wayne County: $105,780
Customs/Border Patrol Sector: Swanton
- Clinton County: $122,030
- Franklin County: $65,264
- St. Lawrence County: $167,228
- St. Regis Mohawk County: $127,679
Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand said: “These federal funds are important for the safety of our border communities and the entire state. Our state has some of the biggest terror targets in the nation, and we need to make sure our local law enforcement agencies have the resources they need to continue protecting us. I will continue to fight for funding for these programs so we can keep our communities safe.”
Congressman Charles B. Rangel said: “With increased threats of terrorism around the world, these federal investments will make it possible for our transit system to upgrade its infrastructure and training to protect New Yorkers and people across our nation. I commend Governor Cuomo for working diligently to ensure that these crucial funds are available to our State so that we meet national security demands of the 21st century.”
Congressman Eliot Engel said: “Nearly $15.5 million in federal funding for transit security at the MTA will help keep travelers in New York City and Westchester safe. New York’s transit system is among the busiest in the world, and ongoing federal support means that New York’s buses and subways, and the Metro-North train system, will be able to continue to build out training, security infrastructure, and a robust response capability. Also, border protections for our ports and land crossings will help keep all Americans safe. I’ve been a longtime advocate for more robust funding for transit security. While I continue to believe Congress can and should do more on this front, I know that this funding is vital for New York while we continue the work of keeping our communities safe.”
Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey said: "An attack on New York's extensive transportation system would be devastating. These federal funds are vital to protect local residents who use public transit each day. I will continue working as Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee to secure funds to keep New Yorkers safe and to protect our communities against the increased level of threat we face compared to other regions of the country."
Congressman José E. Serrano said: “As the recent wave of terrorist attacks around the world underscore, we must remain vigilant in our efforts to keep our nation safe. By protecting our major transportation centers and infrastructure, this federal funding will help ensure New York’s counterterrorism efforts remain robust, up-to-date, and well-coordinated. I applaud Governor Cuomo for making sure we remain a strong, secure, and resilient city.”
Congressman Jerrold Nadler said: “New York’s transit system is a key power behind our economy and labor force, which is why it is so important that we take the necessary steps to defend against potential terrorist attacks. Millions of New Yorkers depend on systems like the MTA every day, and making sure that riders are safe includes funding counterterrorism efforts at our major transportation centers. I applaud Governor Cuomo for securing this important funding through FEMA’s Transit Security Grant Program, which has awarded the MTA and other New York systems over $17 million to support transportation infrastructure security, and thank everyone for their tireless work in protecting our transit systems.”
Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney said: “New Yorkers know firsthand the pain of a terror attack here at home. 9/11 was a living nightmare, one that should never be repeated. With over $15 million in federal funding we will be able to increase our defenses against attacks and insure the safety of all those who travel on public transit. Our infrastructure will be more secure, and our officers will be even more rigorously trained. We are ensuring that NYC is protected from every angle so the greatest city in the world can keep standing strong.”
Congressman Joe Crowley said: “Our number one priority is to keep New Yorkers safe and these grants are crucial to our efforts to effectively combat terrorism or thwart threats to our security,” said Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx). “Our mass transit system is the lifeblood of our city and I thank Governor Cuomo for his role in making sure this critical funding from FEMA is being put to good use and toward protecting this vital part of our infrastructure.”
Congressman Steve Israel said: “As New Yorkers, we know the importance of being prepared to respond to unexpected emergencies. I will continue to fight for federal resources like this to keep New York families safe by fortifying our transportation infrastructure to protect against terror plots."
Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney said: “New York has the most extensive transportation infrastructure systems in the country which ensure millions of New Yorkers can travel quickly and safely. My fellow Americans, especially my neighbors, know all too well the importance of strong counter-terrorism measures and I believe that working together with Governor Cuomo we can ensure our railways, waterways, and ports are safe from all threats.” – Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney
Congressman Lee Zeldin said: “We are too often reminded that while we frequently hear and read about terrorist attacks abroad, we have a very real, ongoing homeland security threat within our own borders. In the wake of the recent terror attack in Orlando, Florida, and the rise of terror across the world, government must act to protect our citizens. We, as a country, must remain ever vigilant. This federal funding is essential now more than ever to provide the funding necessary to protect our state and nation.”
Congressman Dan Donovan said: "New York City is the country's top terror target, so it's absolutely imperative for Congress to continue allocating security funds at this year's levels to protect our residents. Still, my fight goes on to reverse the President's dangerous proposal to slash New York City's homeland security grant funding in half for next year, and I won't rest until it's done."
MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast said: “Moving customers safely and securely through our system is our top priority. This money will help us to further enhance our infrastructure protection, employee training and to maintain strong police presence in the system to deter threats to the public and our trillion-dollar asset. We’re grateful for the continued advocacy from FEMA, DHS and TSA for recognizing that New York and the MTA remain top potential terrorist targets and that we must continue to be as vigilant as ever protecting all those who use our system.”
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner John Melville said: “It is important to ensure that our northern communities have the resources to meet the challenges that exist along our northern borders. This funding will go a long way in providing local law enforcement resources for to enhance efforts to meet these challenges and to keep our residents safe.”
$54 Million Included in the FY 2017 State Budget
Modern developments in terror attacks require an expanded approach to the State’s counter terrorism efforts. Recent terror attacks have revealed a trend towards coordinated strikes using military-style assault weapons, as well as home-grown extremists committing lone-wolf attacks. These attacks are easier to carry out on American soil and can occur anywhere within New York State.
To combat this new normal of terrorism, the budget includes a $40 million investment, first proposed in the Governor’s state of the state, to expand the presence of law enforcement agencies statewide, $10 million for safety equipment for local law enforcement agencies, and $4 million investment to provide members of the New York State Police with high-powered rifles, body armor and ballistic helmets to all on-duty uniformed troopers, along with the necessary training to prepare them to respond to this evolving threat of terrorism.