Crowley Spearheads Funding of UASI Homeland Security Grants for NYC

Jun 26, 2009

(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx) cheered this week’s approval of increased funding for risk-based homeland security grants through the Urban Areas Security Initiatives (UASI) program, a program spearheaded by Congressman Crowley in the months following September 11, 2001.

“While the threat of terror lingers everywhere, there are places in the U.S., like New York, that are more vulnerable to attack,” said Congressman Crowley. “This is not a distinction we are proud of, but it is a reality we face every day. What happened on September 11th can never happen again, and the UASI program works to ensure just that.  This bill increases funding to New York City by over $50 million to stop attacks before they occur, and these critical grants will help cities and states across the nation ensure that our first responders have the equipment they need to protect the American people.”

In the months following the September 11th attacks, Congressman Crowley spearheaded the creation of the High Threat Urban Area Account Program, which later became the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI). Congressman Crowley undertook this effort because, at the time, there were no Federal domestic security grant programs that provided funding solely on the basis of threat and risk.

In New York City, UASI grants have been used to train and better equip first responders and provide them with better communication systems to assure preparedness. In addition, the funding has been used to improve monitoring of critical infrastructure.  In Fiscal Year 2009, New York City received over $145 million in UASI grants, totaling over $802.16 million since the program’s inception.

The UASI program is funded through the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill, a funding bill that makes fundamental investments that are vital to our nation’s security. It tightens our nation’s borders, allows for installation of the latest explosive detection systems at airports nationwide, protects our ports and critical infrastructure, and provides grants to meet the needs of our first responders.

The Homeland Security Appropriations bill passed the House by a vote of 389 to 37 and the bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.