New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly discusses the city's public transportation with Secretary Napolitano at NYPD Headquarters on February 18, 2009 –. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/PA3 Annie R. Berlin)
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) awarded nearly $78 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP) funding for approximately 240 new law enforcement officers at 15 transit systems across the country to enhance the nation's ability to guard against acts of terrorism.
"Securing our mass transit systems requires well-trained personnel on the ground to protect against those who seek to cause harm," said DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano. "This Recovery Act money will create critical law enforcement jobs that will help our nation prevent terrorist attacks."
Secretary Napolitano announced the funding at New York City's Grand Central Terminal, where hundreds of thousands of commuters and visitors travel each day. The grants will provide approximately $35 million for approximately 125 new officers in the New York Police Department through the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority as well as additional resources in other urban transit systems across the nation.
Recipient transit operations include:
- New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (for NYPD), $35.9 million
- Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, $9.5 million
- Chicago Transit Authority (for Chicago Police Department), $4.8 million
The funds, allocated by the Transportation Security Administration through the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Fiscal Year 2009 Transit Security Grant Program, will be used by transit agencies to hire new law enforcement officers and by police departments with dedicated transit bureaus to hire anti-terrorism personnel, purchase anti-terrorism equipment and obtain and train explosive detection canines.
The three types of grants announced on Thursday include:
* Anti-Terrorism Teams, including overt and covert officers whose activities focus on terrorism prevention;
* Explosive Detection Canine Teams, which consist of an explosives detection canine and an officer/handler; and
* Mobile Explosives Detection Screening Teams, which deploy trained officers and explosives detection technology for random security screening in the transit environment.
Summary of Transit Security Grants announced:
These ARRA grants supplement the $388.6 million in FY 2009 Transit Security Grant Program funding announced by Secretary Napolitano in April.
In awarding ARRA funds, DHS prioritizes shovel-ready projects that infuse resources into local economies quickly while meeting critical security needs. DHS has obligated approximately 20 percent of its ARRA funds to date, and is on track to obligate more than 50 percent by the end of September 2009.
ARRA, signed into law by President Obama on Feb. 19, committed more than $3 billion for homeland security projects through DHS and the General Services Administration (GSA).
Further information on DHS-FEMA grant programs is available at www.dhs.gov and www.fema.gov/grants. To learn more about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects, visit www.dhs.gov/recovery.