EXCLUSIVE: DHS May Reverse Course, Increase NYC Anti-Terror Funding
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A major about-face from the Department of Homeland Security is anticipated.
The feds said Tuesday they were thinking about reversing a controversial decision to pull some money used to protect New York City. Homeland Security’s new chief broke the news in an exclusive interview with CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer on Wednesday.
President Barack Obama’s words on his nightmare scenario — nuclear weapons going off in Manhattan — have become a dream come true for the NYPD. Plans to slash New York City’s bomb detection unit by 50 percent are expected to be rescinded by the new secretary of Homeland Security.
“I’ve had conversations with Congressman (Peter) King, Sen. (Charles) Schumer and (NYPD) Commissioner (Bill) Bratton about this subject and I think that together we’re going to get it at a good place,” DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said.
Cuts to the program were announced less than 24 hours after President Obama worried publicly about a bomb in Manhattan. Sen. Schumer and Rep. King immediately protested — protests apparently heard loud and clear.
“New York will be, I’m confident, adequately funded in this regard,” Johnson said.
The nation’s top security czar did not say exactly how much would be restored to the program that helps the NYPD detect bombs and radiation, but sources told Kramer it will be substantial – several million dollars more than the original allocation.
But there’s more. Secretary Johnson said he will make sure the NYPD gets the funds it needs for its vast array of anti-terror programs — from training to equipment.
“New York, the New York City area should continue to receive the grant money, for counter terrorism, for training and as long as I’m secretary we’re going to continue to do that,” Johnson said.
Secretary Johnson, celebrating his 100th day in office, was in New York on Wednesday to participate in a ceremony naturalizing 150 new citizens.
And although terrorists from abroad are always a concern, the secretary said that domestic terrorism continues to be a huge worry, especially after bombings in Times Square, Oklahoma City and at the Boston Marathon.
“We’re concerned about so-called ‘lone wolf,’ domestic-based extremists,” Johnson said.
The secretary said he plans to be in Boston for the marathon on April 21 to show his support. He said his agency is also ramping-up efforts to curb cyber-attacks and to win congressional support for immigration reform and changes to deportation rules.
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