Secretary Napolitano Highlights DHS’ Major Accomplishments in 2010
Washington, D.C. — Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today highlighted the Department’s 2010 accomplishments in an address to employees - emphasizing the major steps the Department has taken this year to enhance America’s capabilities to guard against terrorism; secure the nation’s borders; engage in smart enforcement of our immigration laws; safeguard and secure cyberspace; prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters; and unify and mature the Department.
“Over the past year, our efforts have been guided by one simple yet powerful idea: homeland security begins with hometown security,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Working hand in hand with first responders, state, local, tribal and territorial governments, community groups, our international partners and the private sector, we have made great strides in protecting our nation from terrorism and other threats while building a culture of resiliency and preparedness in our communities.”
To prevent terrorism and enhance security, Secretary Napolitano led a global initiative to strengthen the international aviation system through partnerships with governments and industry, investments in new technology, and enhanced targeting measures. Secretary Napolitano also launched the nationwide expansion of the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign—a simple and effective program to raise public awareness of indicators of terrorism, crime and other threats and emphasize the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the proper transportation and law enforcement authorities. The campaign was launched in conjunction with the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative, an administration effort to train state and local law enforcement to recognize behaviors and indicators related to specific threats and terrorism-related crime and report and share information on suspicious incidents or activity nationally so it can be analyzed to identify broader trends. DHS also continued to strengthen the national network of fusion centers.
To secure and manage our borders, DHS has continued to deploy historic levels of personnel, technology, and resources to the Southwest border, including Predator Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) coverage along the entire Southwest border for the first time—from the El Centro Sector in California to the Gulf of Mexico in Texas—and new agreements with international partners to increase information sharing and bolster cooperative efforts to crack down on transnational threats while facilitating travel and trade.
To enforce and administer our immigration laws, DHS set a record for overall removals of illegal aliens, prioritizing the identification, apprehension and removal of criminal aliens who pose a threat to public safety; announced new initiatives to strengthen the efficiency and accuracy of the E-Verify system; formalized a longstanding Departmental policy to expedite and streamline the citizenship process for men and women serving in the U.S. armed forces; launched the Blue Campaign to Combat Human Trafficking; and continued major reforms of the immigration detention system.
To safeguard and secure cyberspace Secretary Napolitano signed a landmark agreement with the Department of Defense to enhance America’s capabilities to protect against threats to critical civilian and military computer systems and networks; launched the National Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign Challenge and the “Stop. Think. Connect.” national public cybersecurity awareness campaign; hosted Cyber Storm III, an exercise that brought together participants from 13 countries, 11 states and seven Cabinet-level federal agencies to simulate a large-scale cyber attack on critical infrastructure, testing the federal government’s full suite of cybersecurity response capabilities; and has launched an early warning system for intrusions to federal executive branch civilian networks at 13 Departments and agencies to date.
To ensure resilience to disasters DHS played a key role in the Obama administration’s response to the BP oil spill, the largest spill in our nation’s history, leading the federal government’s efforts to leverage resources from across the country and around the world to mitigate the impact of the oil on the environment, the economy and public health; mobilized the Department’s extensive operational capabilities in response to the earthquake in Haiti; announced nearly $3.8 billion in fiscal year 2010 Preparedness Grants for nine federal programs to assist state, local and tribal governments and the private sector in strengthening preparedness for acts of terrorism, major disasters and other emergencies; and signed bilateral international agreements to strengthen emergency management cooperation. In addition, the Department, through the Federal Emergency Management Agency has supported 79 major disaster declarations, 18 fire management assistance declarations and nine emergency declarations, to date, including historic flooding in Tennessee and Rhode Island and severe weather related to Hurricanes Alex and Earl, and Tropical Storms Nicole, Otto and Tomas.
To mature and strengthen the homeland security enterprise DHS unveiled a Department-wide plan for increased consultation and coordination with tribes; launched the Department’s Open Government Plan to enhance transparency, public participation and collaboration; delivered the first ever Quadrennial Homeland Security Review and Bottom Up Review reports to Congress; instituted an ambitious series of management integration reforms to ensure the Department has the proper management structures and acquisition strategies necessary to succeed and attract and retain top talent; and announced new Efficiency Review initiatives, which build upon the 20 initiatives launched in 2009, to cut costs, streamline operations and enhance the Department’s ability to fulfill its security mission.
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