Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

NLC President Offers Support to Homeland Security Office

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

NLC President Offers Support to Homeland Security Office

Article excerpt

The National League of Cities is working to establish coordination between the federal government and localities to ensure the safety and preparedness of the nation and its cities, towns and villages.

In a recent letter to Tom Ridge, director of the new White House Homeland Security Office, NLC President Dennis W. Archer, mayor of Detroit, said, "The September 11 terrorist attacks reinforced the need for a strong intergovernmental partnership to respond to terrorism and, more importantly, to protect our citizens from any future acts of terrorism. We stand ready to work with you to ensure that local governments are well prepared partners in our homeland security efforts."

Mayor Archer extended NLC's congratulations and support to Ridge and thanked him "for taking on the monumental responsibility of coordinating our nation's domestic defense and preparedness against terrorism." Archer also offered NLC's network of 18,000 cities, villages and towns as a resource to the new Homeland Security Office in the challenging days that lie ahead.

The letter reported on the policy work of NLC's Public Safety and Crime Prevention (PSCP) Steering Committee following the September 11 terrorist attacks. The committee met October 4-6 in Portland, Maine, to review NLC's policy on domestic terrorism and to refine strategy for building a strong federal-local partnership to ensure homeland security. PSCP Chair Ann Simank, councilmember from Oklahoma City representing the district in which the Murrah Federal Building once stood, led the policy discussion.

The PSCP Committee called for strengthening the "federal-local partnership to prevent terrorism, beginning with a coordinated national preparedness response plan led by a powerful Cabinet-level agency with congressional oversight, and with its own budget." The committee recognized the establishment of the new Homeland Security Office in the White House as "a vital first step. …

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