For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
CHICAGO—Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today traveled to Chicago to deliver remarks to the International Association of Fire Chiefs at Fire-Rescue International 2010, visit key critical infrastructure sites, and join Chicago Mayor Richard Daley to meet with public and private sector stakeholders, law enforcement officials and first responders to discuss the Department's continued commitment to protecting our nation's transportation systems and critical infrastructure.
"Homeland security begins with hometown security—and with the men and women on the frontlines who dedicate themselves to keeping our communities safe everyday," said Secretary Napolitano. "Through homeland security grants and the Recovery Act, we are helping local fire departments protect the jobs of veteran firefighters, rebuilding fire stations across the country, and providing first responders with the tools they need to do their jobs."
During her remarks to more than 3,000 fire chiefs, chief officers, and emergency service leaders at Fire-Rescue International 2010, Secretary Napolitano highlighted DHS' ongoing efforts to help fire departments across the country save jobs and acquire and maintain critical equipment through the Staffing for Adequate Fire Emergency Response (SAFER) grants, the Assistance to Firefighters Grants, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded Fire Station Construction Grants—which have supported 113 fire station construction and renovation projects to date.
Secretary Napolitano also toured the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Union Station to discuss best practices and the vital role of the private sector in protecting critical infrastructure and transportation systems that ensure America's national security and economic stability.
Additionally, Secretary Napolitano joined Mayor Daley to tour the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications and met with public and private sector stakeholders, law enforcement officials and first responders to discuss the Department's commitment to protecting communities through programs such as the Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative—a partnership among federal, state, and local law enforcement and first responders to establish a standard process for identifying and reporting suspicious incidents and sharing information nationally so it can be analyzed to identify broader trends.