US to boost grant money for security at New York area ports


By DEVLIN BARRETT
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON- Annual funding to protect the perimeters of New York's and New Jersey's ports will be boosted nearly fourfold, the Department of Homeland Security was to announce Monday.

The increase, from $6.6 million to $25.7 million, follows a public outcry sparked in June, when the agency decided to slash New York City's share of terror grants for cities by 40 percent, or $83 million.

The new money is meant to help ports guard against attacks by land or sea but is not designed to pay for cargo screening or container inspections.

The change in funding was confirmed Sunday by Congressman Peter King, a Republican from New York , who is the chairman of the House of Representatives' Homeland Security Committee.

"The increase is, I think, a true acknowledgment by the Department of Homeland Security that New York and New Jersey is a major target," King said.

A telephone message left at the Department of Homeland Security after business hours on Sunday was not immediately returned.

In justifying their decision to cut New York's share, federal authorities had said their review process found no national monuments or icons in the city. When that finding was widely derided, authorities said landmarks including the Brooklyn Bridge were counted in other categories.

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