For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Washington, D.C. - Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today met with the Homeland Security Advisory Committee (HSAC) - an independent, bipartisan advisory board of leaders from state and local government, first responder communities, the private sector and academia - to discuss the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) ongoing initiatives and key priorities in 2011.
During the meeting, Secretary Napolitano applauded the critical role of the HSAC Homeland Security Advisory System Task Force in leading to the Department’s announcement last month, during the first annual "State of America's Homeland Security" address, that it will discontinue the color-coded Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS) in favor the new National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) based on the Task Force's assessment. Under the new system, DHS will coordinate with other federal entities to issue formal, detailed alerts when the federal government receives information about a specific or credible terrorist threat. The alerts will provide a concise summary of the potential threat, information about actions being taken to ensure public safety, and recommended steps that individuals and communities, businesses and governments can take.
Secretary Napolitano also highlighted the Department's priorities for the upcoming year - reiterating DHS' continued commitment to protecting the nation against evolving threats of terrorism, further strengthening security along the Southwest border, increasing the security of the global supply chain through DHS-led new initiatives and partnerships, and coordinating with the Department of Justice on implementing the nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative as well as the "If You See Something, Say Something" campaign to better assist law enforcement in protecting their communities from threats.
Secretary Napolitano also officially swore in new HSAC member Bonnie Michelman, who currently serves as the Director of Policy, Security and Outside Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
For more information about HSAC, including a full list of members, visit www.dhs.gov/hsac.