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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2002

Homeland Security Summit Being Held
Culmination of Regional Homeland Security Workshops

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan announced today that the Illinois Terrorism Task Force (ITTF) and the Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI) will host a Homeland Security Summit over the next two days, May 20th and 21st, 2002, using a grant provided by the University of Illinois Partnership Illinois program. The summit will be held in the Studio Theater at the Public Affairs Center on the University of Illinois Springfield campus.

“The central goal of the Summit is to bring together local leaders from throughout Illinois in order to create a genuine dialogue on homeland security issues,” said Governor Ryan. “Not only that, but also to make policy recommendations about where State Homeland Security policies and programs should go from here.”

This summit is the culmination of 18 regional Homeland Security Workshops that have been conducted around the state over the past three months. The summit also builds on the 16 regional Homeland Security Seminars that the Governor sponsored for first responders and the public in November and December of last year.

More than two years ago, Governor Ryan created the first ever statewide Terrorism Task Force. Under the direction of the Illinois State Director for Homeland Security Matt Bettenhausen as well as Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Chamness, the Task Force has provided an on-going interagency forum to develop Homeland Security policies and to direct state efforts toward planning, preparation and response to terrorism in Illinois.

“One of the clear lessons of September 11, 2001, is that local actions are critical to protect Americans against terrorism” said Illinois Homeland Security Director Matt Bettenhausen. “Terrorist events and threats in the U.S. will occur locally and will require local responses and resources. Response and recovery plans must be prepared and exercised. We also must work to develop plans that will prevent or even preempt a terrorist attack.”

According to Fire Service Institute Director Richard Jaehne, “A key consideration in bringing this summit together has been to include those individuals who have a critical role to play in planning for and responding to a terrorism event.”

The Homeland Security Summit will run from 12:30 to 5PM Monday and 8:30AM to 5PM Tuesday and will include break-out sessions for individual participants to discuss specific areas of homeland security and to further planning for dealing with different types of terrorist threats Illinois may face in the future.



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