Representatives Val Demings, Darren Soto, and Stephanie Murphy announced that Orlando will again be the recipient of a major terror-prevention and preparedness grant under the Department of Homeland Security’s Urban Area Security Initiative. This year’s award follows a new methodology and will total between $2.8 and $3.5 million.
Orlando’s inclusion in the program was restored in 2018 after a multi-year drought, following strong advocacy by Central Florida’s congressional delegation—Reps. Demings, Murphy, and Soto.
Rep. Demings said the announcement was “great news as we work to keep Central Florida safe.”
“Having the safety and shield of well-trained, well-prepared first responders is what has allowed Orlando to become a haven for business, art, culture, tourism, and innovation,” she continued. “It brings me great joy to know that everyone in our community can enjoy the tremendous opportunities and joys of living in this thriving region as we continue to grow.”
The final funding figure for this year will total between $2.8 and $3.5 million, with the final figure based on the alignment of local programs to the four national priority areas:
- Soft targets/crowded places
- Intelligence and information sharing
- Emerging threats
Rep. Murphy tapped into the importance to our economy. “As a top tourist destination, the Orlando area is vulnerable to acts of terrorism that endanger the lives of residents and visitors alike,” she said. “That’s why our congressional delegation fought so hard to ensure Orlando received this critical funding. I will keep working to bring home federal dollars that increase public safety and give law enforcement the tools they need to keep our community safe.”
Rep. Soto was also pleased with the funding as a way to bring stability and calm to Central Florida. “Nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of Central Floridians,” he said. “We are extremely grateful to be approved for funding this year under Homeland Security’s Urban Area Security Initiative, which will aid us in funding programs focused on terror-prevention and preparedness. The people of Orlando have felt firsthand the impact of extreme tragedies perpetrated by those seeking to create panic and fear, and we are determined to use this funding to eliminate such instances wherever possible.”