Buffalo area receives funds to fight bioterror

The Buffalo area will get federal anti-terrorism funding in the amount of $6.58 million in fiscal 2010, it has been announced.

That sum includes an Urban Area Security Initiative grant of $5.54 million from the Department of Homeland Security - up approximately $230,000 from last year. Additionally, the area will receive a $1 million port security grant.

The port grant will be used by the Port of Buffalo to aid in the detection, prevention and response to potential terrorist attacks, including biological, chemical and nuclear attacks.

The Urban Area Security Initiative grants, issued on the basis of vulnerability to terrorism rankings from the government, are used to bolster the ability of local health departments in  dealing with chemical, biological or nuclear emergencies as well as for improving law enforcement communications equipment.

“Western New York has extensive security needs, and the burden shouldn’t be placed on local taxpayers to foot the whole bill,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N. Y.,told Buffalo News in announcing the allocations.
“This funding will help reduce the financial burden and allow our local law enforcement to deal with terrorism and at the same time deal with equally important day-to-day duties.”

The Buffalo area's grant has from from an annual $10 million after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. The federal government has even proposed dropping the region from its program in recent years but the local congressional delegation has fought to get the funding restored.