Though New York City was snubbed in federal grants to hire more police officers, the Homeland Security Department is coming through with more than $35 million to beef up the city's rail and bus security, federal officials said tonight.
The Obama administration on Tuesday announced $1 billion in grants to help keep police officers on the beat during the economic downturn – but New York City won’t be getting any of that money.
However, just hours later, Homeland Security officials said the city will get a $35,904,000 for transit security.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is expected to make the announcment tomorrow at Grand Central Station.
"This will put more than 120 new cops on our trains and busses and will be a shot in the arm for New York’s successful fight against crime. While the decision to not send New York City any COPS-Stimulus money was a disappointment, this will more than make up for our loss because the maximum number of officers any city could fund under COPS was fifty," Sen. Charles Schumer said."
Earlier today, Attorney General Eric Holder was cheered in Philadelphia as he announced the allotment of money being given to many cities for more police officers.
“These officers will go to the places they are needed most,” Holder told the crowd.
New York, along with Houston, Seattle and Pittsburgh were cities that will not get any federal money under the COPS program.
Mayor Bloomberg said "its frustrating."
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said “we're down over 5000 officers from where we were in 2001. We're projected to go down another 1000.”
The NYPD applied for funds for about 2,000 officers and officials hoped enough money would be awarded to hire 200.
New York officials said that in handing-out the grants, the Justice Department had failed to consider terrorist threats. For example, the NYPD dedicates more than 1000 officers to try to prevent future attacks.
But the Obama White House counters that New York City is in better economic shape and has a lower crime rate than other cities that are in need. Federal officials also point out how smaller cities across New York state like Rochester, Syracuse and Albany were given millions of dollars.
Vice President Joe Biden said there were simply too many requests and not enough money to help New York City with this round of money.
“I know our friends in New York were very disappointed they didn’t get any cops money this time. But they are getting $6 million additional local aid immediately for justice assistance grants.”
Since the Clinton years, the city had received $600 million to fund 4700 officers and nearly 2000 civilians. Congressional leaders speaking out today criticized the decision to stiff New York.
“I'm concerned this formula is fundamentally flawed because New York City has to do extra work because of terrorism,” Sen. Kristin Gillibrand said.
White House officials said New York City is still getting millions in additional funding from other sources - but the mayor said that this time the NYPD is being punished because unlike other cities - crime here continues to drop, even with fewer police.