Press Releases

Murphy, Demings, Soto Announce $3.5 Million in Anti-Terrorism Funding for Orlando

In addition, five Orlando non-profit organizations will receive a total of $480,000 to enhance physical security

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Washington, June 30, 2020 | comments

ORLANDO—Central Florida Representatives Stephanie Murphy, Val Demings, and Darren Soto announced today that Orlando will receive $3.5 million in anti-terrorism funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as part of its Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) program. This is the most funding the city will receive under this federal program since 2011 and an increase from the $3.25 million received last year. The grant is a result of past advocacy efforts by the three central Florida representatives, who were successful in getting DHS to revise its allocation formula to more fairly weigh factors like daily visitors, high-profile events, and so-called “soft targets”—all of which Orlando has in significant numbers.

“The Orlando-area is a growing region and a popular tourist destination, making it a potential target for terrorist activity. That’s why for years I’ve fought alongside my colleagues to ensure the federal government provided additional resources to help keep our community safe,” said Murphy. “I’m proud that this year we’ve once again increased this funding and we will keep working to ensure Central Florida law enforcement agencies and non-profits have the support they need to fight terrorism.”

“The safety and security of our community is my top responsibility in Congress, and I am excited to announce that Orlando will be receiving the maximum possible security grant available to us. As a member of the Homeland Security Committee, Orlando’s re-inclusion in the UASI program has been a highlight of my work in Congress and we will continue to advocate for this critical funding,” said Demings. “After being a part of every level of community safety in Orlando, from midnight patrols to Chief of Police, I have seen how important this federal support is as we work to stay proactive against possible threats. COVID-19 may be the health and safety priority of today, but this grant will help protect us against the threats of tomorrow. We should all be glad that Orlando will have the best possible community safety measures in place.”

“Nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of Central Floridians,” said Soto. “As our community continues to grow, we are extremely grateful to receive this increased funding that will aid us in enhancing our law enforcement’s preparedness and prevention methods. The people of Orlando have felt firsthand the impact of extreme tragedies perpetrated by those seeking to create panic and fear, and we are certain this funding will help eliminate such instances wherever possible. This will also help protect the many families who are just beginning to visit Orlando again as a result of the pandemic.”

Law enforcement agencies in 32 cities around the nation—including Orlando, Tampa and Miami—will receive a total of $615 million in UASI funding this year. They can use this funding to buy homeland security equipment, conduct training exercises, train and pay first responders, and enhance security in order to protect high-profile locations like stadiums, public transit, and theme parks.

In addition, because Orlando is receiving UASI funding, non-profit organizations in the city are eligible for Nonprofit Security Grants from DHS. Five faith-based non-profit organizations in Orlando applied for, and received, a total of $480,000. 


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