- The Washington Times - Friday, March 17, 2017

President Trump’s newly proposed budget cuts would strip New York City of critical funding and cripple its counterterrorism efforts, the city’s top police officer said Thursday.

The New York Police Department stands to lose about $110 million in federal funding each year under the president’s proposed budget plan, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said at a press briefing, significantly reducing the nation’s largest city’s law enforcement resources and its ability to combat terrorists.

“Under the president’s proposal, nearly all federal funding to the NYPD would be eradicated,” the commissioner said. “This funding is absolutely critical. It is the backbone of our entire counterterrorism apparatus.

New York City remains one of the top terror targets in the world, and certainly the top target in the United States,” he added. “The federal government has long acknowledged that fact, and to cut that funding would make us increasingly less safe.”

Mr. Trump’s budget would save the government about $700 million annually by eliminating Homeland Security grants currently allocated to state and local law enforcement agencies across the country, including a sizable chunk to the NYPD.

Commissioner O’Neil said those grants fund “essential” aspects of the agency’s counterterrorism activities, however, including active-shooter training, intelligence analysis and bomb squad equipment.

“It is the cornerstone of effective preparedness and prevention against terrorist threats, and enables us to do all we can do to keep this city secure,” he said. “Everyone who lives in, works in and visits New York City — this money’s critical to keeping everybody safe.”

The commissioner was hardly alone in condemning the president’s proposed cuts Thursday over its certain security implications. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urged Mr. Trump to reconsider his budget plan, while Gov. Andrew Cuomo labeled the proposal as “dangerous, reckless, and contemptuous of American values.”

“I want to ask President Trump to come back to New York City and talk to the people hurt by his budget,” the mayor tweeted Thursday.

Nearly 3,000 people died on September 11, 2001, in the terror attacks in lower Manhattan. The city has been targeted by more than 20 terror plots since 2002, though most were foiled by local law enforcement, the New York Daily News reported.

The NYPD’s annual budget for fiscal 2017 is $5.2 billion, The Washington Post reported. The greater New York region received more than $178 million in federal funding from the Department of Homeland Security during fiscal 2016,  — more than the Chicago and Los Angeles areas received combined, according to The Post.

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