(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today announced that Washington state will receive $16.5 million to enhance the ability of local governments to help prepare for and respond to terrorist threats in the Seattle metropolitan area. Sound Transit will receive an additional $800,000 in grants for mass transit security. Sound Transit will be able to use these funds to conduct an assessment and preparedness plan on where best to place resources such as barricades, video surveillance and motion detectors.
The funds are dispersed under the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) of the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Domestic Preparedness. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and a member of the panel’s Homeland Security Subcommittee, Murray supported these funds in the fiscal year 2004 Homeland Security Appropriations bill, which was signed into law on October 1, 2003.
“An attack on our region would be devastating for our community and our economy. At a time when security is a top priority but local budgets are stretched thin, these grants are great news for Seattle area residents,” Senator Murray said. “I am proud to have supported the federal funds to provide our police and firefighters with more resources to keep our families and communities safe.”
Seattle is eligible for UASI grant funding as one of the top 50 metropolitan areas in the United States. Seattle’s ranking is based on population, critical infrastructure and threat/vulnerability assessment. Seattle/King County metropolitan region has been awarded $29.5 in the two previous rounds of UASI funding.
Senator Murray has been the state's most effective leader in securing federal resources for homeland security. In the last two years, Murray has secured 5 new Coast Guard vessels and crews to beef up patrols in the Puget Sound. Murray is responsible for bringing the first Coast Guard anti-terror “SWAT Team” to Seattle to provide rapid interdiction of maritime threats. She has also been a long-time advocate for increasing resources to the Northern Border and helped provide funding to significantly increase the numbers of INS and Customs agents on the Northern Border.
Earlier this year, Murray was named to the new Homeland Security Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, putting her in a key position to deliver additional resources to protect Washington State.