Updated 05/13/2010 10:35 PM
Obama Thanks Times Square Responders At NYPD Headquarters
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President Barack Obama visited One Police Plaza in Downtown Manhattan Thursday to thank the law enforcement agents who responded to the attempted Times Square car bombing.
Joining Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and other officials in the Real Time Prime Center, the president praised the patrol officers and mounted police officers who dealt with an explosives-filled SUV in Times Square earlier this month.
Obama also said the New York City Police Department did a "model" job in locating and arresting Faisal Shahzad, the Connecticut man responsible for parking the vehicle.
"I was telling the mayor and the commissioner that the work that the NYPD does in coordination with state, federal, local officials when it comes to counterterrorism is a model for the country. It has been for some time," said Obama.
He also said that he would make sure the NYPD would receive "what [it] would need" in funds to fight terrorism.
Kelly then presented the president with an NYPD-themed jacket.
Earlier in the day, the mayor asked Obama to make sure the city receives sufficient Homeland Security funding in the upcoming federal budget.
Since Wednesday, the state's congressional congregation has said the city will receive 27 percent less in transit security funds and 25 percent less in port security funds.
However, White House officials said the city will see a 47 percent increase in funding and overall receive one-third of money spent on anti-terrorism measures.
During the president's meeting with the NYPD, police inspected a suspicious-looking car near One Police Plaza, but determined it contained nothing dangerous.
Following his visit with police, the president attended a Democratic fundraiser at the St. Regis Hotel where tickets were between $15,000 to $25,000 per person.
While addressing the crowd, Mr. Obama talked up the health care bill, pressed for Wall Street reform and criticized Republicans for overly blaming Democrats.
The issue of security funds did not come up.
Meanwhile, the president's visit to the Big Apple came hours after federal officials said that three people were taken into custody by the Joint Terrorism Task Force in connection with the failed car bombing in Times Square.
According to a top Massachusetts law enforcement official, two of the men have a "direct connection" with Shahzad.
The official says they may have given Shahzad money, although investigators are not sure whether they knew what the money was for. Both men are of Pakistani decent and are currently being held on immigration violations.
A spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says in Maine a third person was arrested on an immigration violation.
The three were taken into custody following raids at locations across the Northeast and based on information they received from Shahzad, who authorities say has been cooperating.
The searches were also conducted in New Jersey, Massachusetts and in Centereach and Shirley on Long Island.
Before arriving in the city, the president visited Buffalo to discuss the economy with workers at a manufacturing company.
He has asked Congress to act on a new round of jobs legislation he says could help strengthen small businesses. It's a proposal to create a $30 billion support program to free up credit.
With many larger companies downsizing, Obama says small businesses and their ability to offer jobs are vital to the nation’s economic recovery.
During his time in Buffalo, the president also met briefly with the relatives of those killed aboard Continental Connection Flight 3407 last year.