Cities, Ports to Receive $700M for Homeland Security

WASHINGTON, D.C.

The Department of Homeland Security announced it would allocate $700 million from the 2003 supplemental budget to help protect urban areas and critical infrastructure. This comes after months of complaining by state and local officials about insufficient federal financial support for meeting growing security demands.

Based on a formula that takes into account threat information, critical infrastructure and population density, most of that money—$500 million—will be provided to states in the form of grants to boost security in 30 metropolitan areas.

New York and its contiguous counties will see the biggest chunk of that money—$125 million. Washington, Chicago and Houston will receive about $42 million, $30 million and $24 million, respectively. Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle each will receive about $18 million. Grants ranging from $17 million to $6 million will be made to 22 other cities as well.

In addition to the $500 million for urban areas, the supplemental funding will provide 14 seaports with $75 million for security enhancements, training, preparedness drills, equipment and planning. Twenty mass transit systems will receive another $65 million for things such as threat surveillance systems, physical security improvements, new communications systems, training and practice drills.

Other funding includes $35 million for radiological defense systems, primarily in New York and New Jersey and the Charleston, S.C., metropolitan area; $15 million for pilot projects in high-density, high-threat urban areas or to protect critical infrastructure; and $10 million for technical assistance to state and local jurisdictions.

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