Flanked by New York’s senators and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff agreed yesterday that his agency’s anti-terrorism grants should be geared to the states more at risk for attacks, Newsday reports. Bloomberg said his city’s transportation agencies will get $42 million in federal grants this year to improve mass transit security, including money for surveillance and devices to detect biological and chemical threats.
Congress is weighing whether to change Homeland Security’s funding formula and give a greater share of money to states or regions considered more vulnerable to attacks. Local lawmakers are banking on support from Chertoff, a New Jersey native. Chertoff, who grew up in the shadows of the World Trade Center, said he is “acutely aware” of New York’s concerns about threats. He supports a threat-based approach for grants.