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Readout of Secretary Napolitano's Visit to Massachusetts

Release Date: 
March 14, 2011

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

Boston, Mass.—Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today visited Cambridge and Boston, Mass. to deliver remarks at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) underscoring the vital role of science and technology in keeping America safe and launch a new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) partnership with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) on the "If You See Something, Say Something™" public awareness campaign.

“Innovation is critical to economic growth, international competitiveness, and national security,” said Secretary Napolitano. “We must expand government’s collaboration with the science and engineering communities in industry and academia to include a deeper, broader partnership on homeland security.”

During her remarks—delivered to more than 400 students and faculty as part of the historic MIT Compton Lecture series—Secretary Napolitano highlighted the important role of science and engineering experts in helping America prepare for and respond to a wide range of ever-evolving threats.

Secretary Napolitano also reiterated the Department’s commitment to advancing research in the fields of science and engineering that impact homeland security—highlighting the launch of the Loaned Executive program and Cyber Workforce Initiative, two DHS programs designed to attract top professionals in the scientific and cyber fields. Over the past two years, DHS has increased the size of its cybersecurity workforce by approximately 500 percent, and the Department’s fiscal year 2012 budget request supports high-quality, cost-effective cybersecurity education and training to develop and grow a robust cybersecurity workforce.

Secretary Napolitano’s full remarks, as prepared for delivery, are available here.

While in Boston, Secretary Napolitano joined Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray and MBTA officials to announce the “If You See Something, Say Something™” public awareness campaign—a simple and effective program to engage the public and key frontline employees to identify and report indicators of terrorism, crime and other threats to the proper transportation and law enforcement authorities—in coordination with DHS’ nationwide expansion of the campaign.

Over the past nine months, DHS has worked with its federal, state, local and private sector partners, including the Department of Justice, to expand the “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign as well as the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative—an administration effort to train state and local law enforcement to recognize behaviors and indicators related to terrorism, crime and other threats; standardize how those observations are documented and analyzed; and expand and enhance the sharing of those reports with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and DHS—to communities throughout the country.

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