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New York Police Seek Help Combating Terrorism - 2002-02-23


In New York, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly is asking for more help to combat the threat of terrorism. Mr. Kelly says the city needs almost one billion dollars more from what he called "external" sources, namely the federal government.

Anti-terrorism efforts have become the focus of New York's police department as a result of the September 11 attack on the city. But New York's counter terrorism initiative is costly and city officials say federal aid and grants are needed to carry out the program.

Police officials trimmed the estimated cost of $1 billion for the program down to $700 million. But they say the figure may still go up.

Speaking with members of the New York City Council, Commissioner Kelly said the bill for the effort is high and the city cannot finance it alone. "We are hopeful that some of this can be provided by the federal government. It is a large number. No question about it," he said.

The counter-terrorism initiative includes protective equipment and vehicles capable of detecting biological and chemical threats, more training for the 40,000 person police force, and several high level positions to oversee the effort.

Former Marine General Frank Libutti recently took the job of deputy police commissioner for counter terrorism. He wants to provide counter terrorism training for the entire department. "I'll present to the Commissioner a list of equipment and support infrastructure to make the training meaningful," he said.

Mr. Kelly also told the City Council he wants Mr. Libutti to co-chair a joint terrorism task force with the FBI to make sure information concerning New York is available to the New York Police officials as quickly as possible. City officials have complained in the past of not having adequate access to FBI intelligence.

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