LI in line for $4.2M in terror-fighting funding

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer led the effort to secure federal funding for New York,

Long Island will receive more than $4.2 million in federal funds to support new counter-terrorism and emergency-preparedness initiatives.

All told, nearly $60 million in federal money is being disbursed to counties around New York through a pair of U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant programs.

Understandably, the biggest chunks of the federal funding are heading to New York City, which will be awarded roughly $37.5 million.

The $1.95 million Nassau County will collect is the second-highest total on New York’s county-by-county list. Suffolk County’s $1.2 million ranks fourth, behind Westchester County’s $1.42 million.

Federal guidelines require that a minimum of 25 percent of those totals be directed toward law enforcement agencies specifically for the prevention of terrorism-related activities – an important condition, according to the funding announcement, since “in 2015, there were more plots in the homeland than the previous three years combined.”

Suffolk will collect another $564,390 from a performance-grant program, while Nassau will receive $506,772.

The performance-grant program assists state, local, territorial and tribal governments in preparing for all hazards. Among other line items, program funds can be applied to salaries for emergency-management personnel, the costs of disaster-response training and the purchase of essential emergency-response technologies. Program funds are distributed on a population-based formula, according to the funding announcement.

“Keeping our citizens safe in an age of metastasizing terror threats is job No. 1, which is why we fight so hard to preserve these federal funds,” noted U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, part of the congressional delegation that helped secure the New York grants.

New York receives more federal Homeland Security funding than any other state. By enhancing emergency-responder training and facilitating the purchase of critical emergency equipment, the funding goes a long way toward making “a stronger safer and more secure New York,” according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“New Yorkers know all too well the threats posed by terrorism,” the governor said in a statement, noting “the critical value of ensuring first responders have the tools and resources they need to protect our communities.”