For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Denver — Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today traveled to Colorado Springs, Colo., and Denver to highlight the vital role of DHS' federal, state and local government and law enforcement partners, the private sector and the American public in protecting our communities and cyber networks against evolving threats of terrorism. "From local transportation systems to our nation's cyber networks, homeland security starts with hometown security, and we all have a role to play," said Secretary Napolitano. "I am committed to working with our federal, state, local and private sector partners — and the American public — to develop 21st century solutions to combat the evolving terrorist threats we face."
In Colorado Springs, Secretary Napolitano met with U.S. Air Force cadets and delivered remarks highlighting the Department's ongoing efforts to protect the nation's cyber networks and infrastructure at the National Symposium on Homeland Security and Defense. She reiterated her commitment to creating a safe, secure and resilient cyber environment by protecting our federal civilian networks, improving intrusion detection capabilities and building an expert team of cyber professionals at DHS, and underscored the Department's landmark new cybersecurity partnership with the Department of Defense.
She also highlighted the Department's ongoing collaboration with public and private sector partners, as well as citizens throughout the nation, to promote cybersecurity awareness through programs such as the "Stop. Think. Connect." initiative — a national public education campaign launched as part of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month – which provides simple, actionable information to the public.
In Denver, Secretary Napolitano participated in a discussion entitled, "How the U.S. is Countering Today's Terrorist Threats," as part of an ongoing series sponsored by Denver's Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab (The CELL) — a non-profit, nonpartisan institution dedicated to addressing the global threat of terrorism by providing individuals and organizations with the tools they need to help proactively contribute to protecting the homeland.
In her remarks, Secretary Napolitano discussed the Department's efforts to mitigate evolving terror threats — including individuals already in the United States who may be preparing to carry out terrorist attacks with little or no warning — and reiterated the Obama administration's strong commitment to getting critical information and resources out of Washington, D.C. and into the hands of law enforcement officers on the frontlines across the country through fusion centers and programs including the nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) initiative and Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs).
The SAR initiative is an administration effort to train state and local law enforcement to recognize behaviors and indicators related to specific threats and terrorism-related crime; standardize how those observations are documented, vetted and analyzed; and expand and enhance the sharing of those reports with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and DHS. This initiative is being implemented in partnership with state and local officials across the nation and has been launched in 19 locations.
She also emphasized the critical role of the American public in protecting their communities and highlighted the national expansion of DHS' "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.