New York City would likely have to cut half the staff at the Office of Emergency Management and the NYPD would pull back on buying new radiation detectors and updating its widespread surveillance camera system if a $90 million cut in urban anti-terror funds proposed by the Obama Administration goes through, city officials said Wednesday.
“It is indefensible for the federal government at this time to propose not only cuts, but extraordinary cuts in homeland security, hometown security,” NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said a news conference.
At a joint appearance with Sen. Charles Schumer and Mayor Bill de Blasio, Bratton and other officials railed against the cuts at a time when the threat from ISIS inspired terrorism has grown.
“A $90 million cut is unconscionable,” said Bratton, adding that the cuts would also impact other areas of the country. “We cannot let these cuts stand.”
Schumer first spoke out last weekend about the cuts to the Urban Area Security Initiative funding and Wednesday teamed up with other officials to underscore the harm which they believe would occur if the cuts stand. Schumer said there was still time for the cuts proposed by the White House to be reversed.
“I will do everything I can to protect my fellow citizens in New York,” said Schumer.
OEM Commissioner Joseph Esposito said the cut would lead to layoffs of about half of his staff and hurt the city’s ability to carry out emergency exercises and replenish special emergency disaster stockpiles.
Bratton told Newsday that the $90 million amount of cuts could grow. He said the pull back on funding would impact the city ability to replace surveillance cameras and radiation detectors with new generation technology. Federal funding is also used for NYPD counter terrorism exercises and the purchase of new masks to help officers escape from poison gas.
“Ninety million dollars is a lot of money,” Bratton said.