Trump Budget Would Cut Bomb-Sniffing Dogs At NYC Airports And Train Stations

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead/Public Domain

JakeThomas

President Trump's budget proposal would shift a number of federal national security programs to states and cities.

President Donald Trump’s threat to withhold New York City’s access to Global Entry and other “trusted traveler” programs is apparently not the only manner in which he would like to penalize the city for perceived transgressions.

According to The Daily Beast, Trump’s latest budget proposal would also take away funding for federal bomb-sniffing dogs that help keep New York City’s airports and train stations safe.

Last year, the enacted budget “allocated $59 million for 31 of the dog units, formally called Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response Teams,” but this year Trump wants that number reduced to zero.

In justifying the cut, the White House said, “As state and local law enforcement agencies already monitor and maintain jurisdiction in these areas, the VIPR Teams’ efforts are duplicative and unnecessary.”

“In addition, VIPR Team performance measures fail to articulate program effectiveness, and lack demonstrable results,” the administration added.

The Daily Beast noted that the “NYPD and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority both employ specialized dog teams to help crack down on explosives,” but Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) — who indicated he was blindsided by the move — said the federal program’s teams are better equipped.

“None of them are as good as these, none of them are as mobile as these,” Schumer said at a news conference over the weekend. “These are the most highly trained dogs, and they’re the best.”

Trump would like to see further reductions to federal national security spending as well, including “$84 million in cuts to Transportation Security Administration staffers who monitor access to secure areas of airports, and instead asks to shift those responsibilities onto private airline operators.”

And $46 million worth of grants issued to state and local governments for beefing up airport security would be reduced to nothing under Trump’s proposal, the publication noted.

Schumer accused the White House of shifting national security costs from the federal government to America’s cities, adding that “terror threats are of national concern, and New York, other big cities and transit hubs should not be shouldering the brunt of these security costs.”

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