The Urban Area Security Initiative grant program (UASI), is a Federal grant passed through the Department of Homeland Security. UASI grants are awarded across the nation to urban areas based on threat and risk factors that are determined by the Department of Homeland Security. The UASI borders are determined in part by established Metropolitan Statistical Areas. UASI funding is awarded to urban areas to assist them in preventing, preparing for, responding to and recovering from terrorist acts.
Denver has been an awarded UASI since 2003 has received over $60 million dollars in UASI funding. This funding has been used in a variety of ways, including but not limited to:
- Interoperability projects
- Training and Exercising for first responders
- Equipment for first responders
- Planning projects throughout the region
UASI funding is distributed into 2 tiers. Tier 1 recipients are highly populated urban areas like New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago which would result in severe economic impact and potential loss of life in the event of a terrorist attack. Tier 2 recipients are also highly populated areas, but would potentially have a lesser economic impact and loss of life if attacked. UASI grants are awarded annually. The funding is appropriated by Congress through the Presidential budget. The Department of Homeland Security determines the eligible Urban Areas annually. Eligible Urban Areas are provided a baseline funding amount each year which is the basis for their application.