2010-05-12 / Features

‘Added Anti-Terror Funds Can Build Security Network’

BY JOHN TOSCANO

If Schumer got his way, the city’s share of UASI funding would go back up to 25 percent, where it was in 2005 before being reduced to 18 percent this year. If Schumer got his way, the city’s share of UASI funding would go back up to 25 percent, where it was in 2005 before being reduced to 18 percent this year. With New York City’s leaders clamoring for more anti-terror funding following the recent botched attempt at a Times Square bombing, United States Senator Charles Schumer called for restoration of the city’s share of funding which had been reduced by seven percent in recent years.

Taking up the cry that New York City “remains the single greatest target for terror attacks”, Schumer declared: “The bottom line is, New York City continues to be the number one target for terrorism in the United States and federal anti-terror funding needs to reflect that reality.”

He quickly added, “I am calling on the Department of Homeland Security to increase New York’s funding share from the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) to at least 25 percent of the total funding pot, if not more.”

If Schumer got his way, the city’s share of UASI funding would go back up to 25 percent, where it was in 2005 before being reduced to 18 percent this year.

That would give NYC an additional $57 million in anti-terror funding, Schumer said.

“With this funding, the Lower Manhattan and Midtown Security Initiative would receive the needed resources to expand the downtown surveillance system to Midtown Manhattan between 34th and 59th Streets,” Schumer said.

Under those two plans, the NYPD would install over 3,000 security cameras in Lower and Midtown Manhattan, as well as 100 license plate-reading devices, which are intended to scan plates and compare the numbers with information in a database.

Accordingly, the cameras would be programmed to pick up on the delivery of packages, unattended bags left for extended periods of time, and suspicious cars repeatedly circling the same block. Other system features include mobile roadblocks and radiation detectors.

According to the NYPD, the footage from the cameras would be monitored from a center staffed by police officers and highly-trained security employees.

The city would be able to quickly complete the camera network and expand it around the highly trafficked Times Square and Midtown business and recreational areas if the terror funding reached the increased level of $57 million.

“Terrorism is a national problem and New York is the primary target. New Yorkers cannot shoulder this burden alone,” Schumer concluded.

“It’s imperative the Department of Homeland Security provide appropriate levels of funding so that the NYPD can do everything possible to make New York safe and secure.”

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