Lieberman, Dodd Question DHS Decision Not To Renew New Haven Urban Area Security Initiative Grant

WASHINGTON—Senators Joe Lieberman and Chris Dodd Thursday protested the Department of Homeland Security’s failure to award a high threat urban area grant to New Haven for Fiscal Year 2005, as it had in Fiscal Year 2004, and sought further information about the decision. In a letter to Homeland Secretary Tom Ridge, the Senators questioned DHS on how it determines which cities receive these grants and what criteria have changed since last year. Last year, New Haven received a $9.6 million Urban Area Security Initiative grant to improve communications interoperability for first responders and provide them with additional equipment; protect critical infrastructure; and engage in recovery planning.

” As you know, we have consistently advocated for substantially greater funding to be devoted to homeland security and, in particular, to assistance for our nation’s first responders, who serve as the front lines in our war against terror. Thus, we were dismayed when the President proposed, and Congress enacted, less funding overall for homeland security grants to first responders in FY 2005 than had been provided in FY 2004,” the Senators wrote. “As a result, Connecticut, like every other state in the country, will receive less in State Homeland Security Grant Program funds in FY 2005 than it did last year. This, coupled with the decision not to renew the UASI grant for New Haven, will adversely affect Connecticut’s ability to meet its vital homeland security demands.” A copy of the letter is attached below: