Three Democrats representing Central Florida in Congress announced at the end of last week that Orlando will be getting $3.25 million in anti-terrorism funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) program.
Florida Democrat U.S. Reps. Val Demings, Stephanie Murphy and Darren Soto showcased the funds on Friday, noting that Orlando has not gotten this much UASI funds since 2011.
Murphy, who worked at the Pentagon under President George W. Bush, stressed the importance of ensuring Central Florida is protected from terrorist attacks.
“Orlando is one of our nation’s most popular destinations and home to a vibrant community that has endured tragedy and loss. Residents and visitors alike should know the federal government is providing the support needed to protect them from terrorist threats,” said Murphy. “Their safety must be our number one priority. I was proud to fight alongside my colleagues to secure this funding so local law enforcement agencies and non-profits have the tools they need to fight terrorism in our community.”
“I am grateful that Central Florida is receiving the funding we need to ensure that our communities remain safe places to live, work, worship, and visit,” said Demings, a former chief of the Orlando Police Department and a member of the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee. “Security is our top priority, and with these grants, the federal government is doing its part to help ensure we remain ahead of those seeking to do harm.”
“Our ongoing advocacy efforts to increase federal resources have paid off as we continue improving security against terrorism in our Central Florida region,” said Soto. “Orlando metro has faced multiple threats in the past years, adding alarming risks to the safety and well-being of our community. These funds will enhance our law enforcement’s preparedness ad prevention methods. We will continue to invest and strengthen our security measures to combat all terrorist activity in Florida.”
Orlando, Tampa and Miami are three of more than 30 cities getting $590 million in UASI funds.