October 22, 2001

Cities Face Increased Security Costs Following September 11 Attack
93-City Survey Finds $122.5 Million in Added Security Spending Per Year

Washington, DC -- Tightening security in the aftermath of the September 11 attack is costing the nationís cities a lot of money. In a survey conducted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, 93 mostly small and medium-sized cities reported that they will spend $122.5 million in the year after September 11, 2001 in order to maintain heightened security. The cities responded to the survey three weeks after the September 11 attack but prior to the anthrax cases.

The cities surveyed have an average population of 162,000 people. Many larger cities are still assessing their additional costs due to their larger and more complicated infrastructure and security needs. There are nearly 1,200 cities in the United States, meaning that additional security costs for all cities across the country could easily top $1.5 billion over the next year.

"This survey provides a snapshot of the tremendous additional investment in security that Americaís cities have made since September 11," said New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial, President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. "And it is just the tip of the iceberg. We want to ensure that cities, states, and the federal government are all partners in meeting the nationís security needs."

Many cities surveyed attributed their increased costs to the deployment of additional security personnel, short-term equipment needs, and public outreach and education efforts.

Mayors across the country have been on the frontlines responding to the terrorist attack and related security and public health concerns. They have directed emergency response and preparedness efforts, beefed up local security, organized blood drives and financial contributions, and urged tolerance.

More than 100 mayors, as well as police chiefs, fire chiefs, and emergency management officials, will gather in Washington on October 24-25 for an historic Emergency, Safety, and Security Summit. They are expected to hear from Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge, Attorney General John Ashcroft, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Robert Mueller, and FAA Administrator Jane Garvey.

Summit participants are expected to discuss federal-local cooperation and coordination in the war on terrorism; recommendations by mayors for the new Office of Homeland Security; local emergency management preparedness; transportation security; and communications and technology issues. To adequately protect the public from potential terrorist attack, mayors will call for a new system of communication between federal and local public safety agencies, including a "24/7" threat assessment capability with appropriate sharing of intelligence, greater local access to NCIC data, and a local system for disseminating intelligence to multiple jurisdictions within a metropolitan region.

The U. S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are about 1,200 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the Mayor.

Lina Garcia (202) 861-6719


©2004 U.S. Conference of Mayors