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NYPD: Cutting Federal Counterterrorism Funding Would Be 'Irresponsible'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- As the NYPD increases its presence across the city in response to Tuesday's deadly terror attacks in Brussels, police officials said it would be "irresponsible" for the government to slash federal counterterrorism funds.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has claimed responsibility for the attacks at an airport and metro station in Brussels that left more than 30 people dead. The NYPD said the attacks come as the federal government has proposed cutting terrorism funding in the city by roughly $90 million.

"Any cut in terrorism funding to New York—to what is widely recognized as the nation's top terror target — would be irresponsible," the department said in a statement Tuesday.

Following the attacks in Belgium, the NYPD immediately deployed hundreds of highly-trained and heavily-armed counterterrorism officers to mass transit hubs and other high-profile locations. There is no known threat against New York City, but security was stepped up "out of an abundance of caution."

BRUSSELS ATTACKS: Photos Videos Coverage From CBS News

"This is something we think about every minute of every day," Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller said. "This was an all out effort that is part of the normal drum beat of trying to manage the threat stream in New York City."

Miller said cutting the counterterrorism funding in half "seems to make no sense in this environment, especially based on the idea that what we were able to marshal and deploy today -- outside of the personnel costs -- is largely things and entities and elements that are funded from those dollars."

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Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio testified before a House Homeland Security Committee to argue against the proposal that would cut the Urban Area Security Initiative nearly in half, from $600 million to $330 million. The federal program helps cities prepare for terror attacks with training for police and firefighters, and also provides funding for extra patrols at area transit hubs and waterways.

"UASI helps us prevent terror; UASI funding helps employ the people who keep us safe," de Blasio said last Tuesday. "We cannot protect New York City sufficiently without this funding, and I believe it's a fair national priority to protect our largest city and a city that is so central to our national life."

The mayor told the committee that since the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, New York City has stopped 20 terror plots, four of them within the two years since he took office.

"My message today is simple and urgent: we need the Congress to do its part to protect New York City and in fact all of the United States from security threats," de Blasio said.

The cuts are a part of President Barack Obama's proposed budget for fiscal year 2017, and will most likely be voted on later this year.

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