The NYPD will be getting a high-speed combat vessel to respond to Mumbai-style terror attacks in New York Harbor, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Tuesday.
More than $5 million in federal funding has been earmarked for the 71-foot craft, which can hit speeds of 40 knots and will be able to carry up to 30 police officers fully armed with heavy weapons, Kelly told a meeting of the City Council public safety committee. The vessel is expected to be delivered in about a year.
Terrorists struck the city of Mumbai in India in 2008, killing more than 100 in coordinated attacks at tourist centers and hotels. Gunmen, almost all of whom were killed, used inflatable speedboats for transport. The NYPD has structured some of its counterterrorism training to thwart a similar attack here.
But while funding for the vessel is expected to be available, Kelly told committee members that the continuing delay in approval of a federal budget for fiscal year 2012 is creating uncertainty about the flow of federal grants for other counterterrorism operations in the city. At least $157 million in money for port security and initiatives like the Lower Manhattan and Midtown Security Initiative is hanging on the current budget debate in Washington, according to Kelly.
Kelly also said that the NYPD is working on trimming $101.4 million from its budget of about $4.45 billion for fiscal year 2012. He didn't elaborate on what cuts might be coming. The NYPD has a current head count of 35,767 officers.
In line with earlier cuts dictated by City Hall, Kelly said new construction in four precincts has been eliminated, as has some money to replace cars, boats and other equipment.
The new high-speed boat will be outfitted with radiation detection equipment and infrared cameras, as well as a satellite communication facilities, the NYPD said.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service