NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The state’s senior senator said the Trump administration plans to cut all funding for bomb-sniffing dog teams used to police Penn Station, JFK and LaGuardia airports, and other transit hubs around the New York area.
Sen. Charles Schumer said Sunday the president’s budget cuts all funding for 31 Visible Intermodal Prevent and Response dog teams, or VIPR units, most of which are used around New York City.
“We all know New York City is a target for terrorism. We all know our airports are very, very busy. So is Penn Station, so are our ferries. In the days of increased terror we can’t be too careful. Safety has to come first,” Schumer said.
Schumer said he stopped a plan cut to the system during last year’s budget, but this year’s plan would defund the $59 million program completely.
“There are different dogs, but none are as good as these, none are as mobile as these that can be sent to anyplace in the New York area whenever there’s a threat,” he said. “Those dogs do some of the most critical work, and often at a moment’s notice.”
When asked if he thought this cut was another political targeting of New York, Schumer denied a connection and cited other states relied on the program for security measures.