Three Democrats representing parts of Central Florida in Congress--U.S. Reps. Val Demings, Stephanie Murphy and Darren Soto--helped reel in more than $3 million to help Orlando secure itself from terrorism.
At the end of last week, the three members announced that Orlando will be receiving a $3.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS)Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI). Last year, after not getting funds since 2014, Orlando received $1.5 million in a UASI grant.
“There is nothing more important to me than keeping our community safe,” Demings said. “As chief of police, I oversaw UASI-funded preparedness programs. I’m glad to have the chance to renew this program and ensure that our neighbors, friends, families and visitors can safely and freely experience the best of Orlando, from schools to nightclubs, business parks to amusement parks.
“Last year Orlando scored a major victory when we were re-added to the list for vital terror-prevention funding,” Demings added. “I am thankful that we were able to replicate that success this year. Orlando’s record-breaking growth has been astronomical—a success story which has expanded the limits of our economy, appeal, and opportunities. This funding is a critical element in protecting that success. I will continue working with our partners to ensure every resident and visitor to Orlando will be safe to enjoy all of what our incredible city has to offer.”
“The Pulse nightclub shooting was a stark reminder that Orlando is vulnerable to acts of terrorism, and the federal government has a responsibility to provide the necessary support to help protect our city,” Murphy said. “Whether they are residents or visitors, members of our community deserve to feel safe. That’s why I joined my colleagues in fighting to secure this anti-terrorism funding so that law enforcement has the tools it needs to prevent further tragedies and maintain public safety.”
“Nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of our citizens,” Soto said. “Our community knows all too well the necessity of being ready for the unthinkable after enduring the pain of the Pulse nightclub shooting. As Orlando continues its growth as a thriving, bustling global city and welcoming thousands of tourists and new residents each year, it is imperative we ensure safety and prevent terror. We’re thrilled to receive additional funds for our area.”