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NYC, LI to share $181M in federal homeland security grants

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, left, speaks

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, left, speaks as New York City Police Department Commissioner William Bratton looks on at the announcement of the Department of Homeland Security preparedness grant program allocations for fiscal year 2015 in Manhattan on Thursday, April 2, 2015. Credit: John Roca

New York City and Long Island will be sharing a $181 million chunk of federal homeland security funds to help protect against terrorism, officials said Thursday.

The money is part of Urban Area Security Initiative grants allocated to all 50 states, and 28 cities considered high-risk targets for terrorism, said Jeh Johnson, secretary of Homeland Security.

A total of $1.6 billion is being handed out in 2015-16, with more than 10 percent earmarked for the city and Long Island.

Johnson announced the grants during a Manhattan news conference attended by NYPD Commissioner William Bratton and several members of Congress, including Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford).

"Given how the terrorist threat to the world is evolving, homeland security is becoming a matter of hometown security," Johnson said. "An independent terrorist actor could strike with little or no notice, such that the cop on the beat may be first . . . to find out about a terrorist attack on our nation."

The city and Long Island money will be apportioned later, officials said.

Most of the funds will be used for NYPD security cameras, training, the New York City Fire Department, police overtime, bomb-detection devices, communication equipment and security for Penn Station, according to Johnson. An additional $76 million is being set aside for New York State, he said.

News of the grants came the day federal prosecutors in Brooklyn announced the arrest of three people, including two Queens women, on terrorism-related charges.

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-Rye) called it "outrageous" that the grants had been held up in Congress as Republicans unsuccessfully fought to overturn President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration by linking them to homeland security.

In the past, she said, the federal formula directed too much of the funds to areas of the country that aren't on the map of terrorists.

"These efforts help to protect those who work and commute to New York every day," Lowey said.

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