Press Releases

Jun 02 2011

ROCKEFELLER TOUTS BETTER COMMUNICATION TOOLS FOR FIRST RESPONDERS AT WEST VIRGINIA HOMELAND SECURITY SUMMIT

Senator Joins Government Officials, First Responders and Experts in Two-Day Summit Addressing National, State Security

HUNTINGTON, W.VA. – Senator Jay Rockefeller called on Congress to take action on public safety legislation that will better protect emergency officials. The Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act will create a nationwide, interoperable wireless network for first responders.

“We need a forward-thinking public safety policy – for West Virginia and our nation – that promotes smart use of our airwaves and provides public safety officials with the wireless resources they need to communicate and keep us safe,” said Rockefeller.  “The Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act will do just that.”

Rockefeller’s comments came as he promoted a broader public safety agenda during the 4th West Virginia Summit on Homeland Security on the campus of Marshall University. Rockefeller was joined by United States Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano as special guests of the summit. 

The focus of this year’s summit is on topics such as critical infrastructure needs, cyber security, and the importance of emergency communications. The two-day summit, hosted by the Discover the REAL West Virginia Foundation, Marshall University, and the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Service, convenes participants that include first responders, school officials, scientists, health experts, private sector security experts, and government officials.

“West Virginia is proud that my good friend, Secretary Napolitano, is joining us this year,” said Rockefeller. “She recognizes that homeland security starts locally and that our small communities play a vital role in protecting us all.”

“We are almost at the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and we must continue to keep homeland security a top priority, ensuring that all Americans are safe and that all those protecting us have the resources they need to fulfill this priority,” said Rockefeller.

Wednesday’s activities began with outside demonstrations and tactical exercises from West Virginia companies and agencies at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Some of the demonstrators include the West Virginia National Guard, West Virginia State Police, the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, among others.

Secretary Napolitano is giving a keynote address Tuesday night ahead of a day of panel discussions Wednesday. Joining Napolitano and Rockefeller as keynote presenters is Bill Conner, president and CEO Of Entrust, Inc.

“We have many experts taking part in the Summit this year which will generate informative discussions on homeland security,” said Rockefeller.  “By working together, we will highlight the successes achieved and the challenges we face in keeping our communities safe.”

“I know that we will leave here with a better understanding of all the aspects of homeland security that we can leverage to keep our country, our state, and our people safe,” he said. “West Virginia is at the forefront of our nation’s homeland security efforts, and I know our state is proud of that.”

Rockefeller has participated in each of the four West Virginia Homeland Security Summits. The first took place in Shepherdstown in 2003, while others were held at Stonewall Jackson Resort in 2006 and in Morgantown in 2008.  

 For the West Virginia Homeland Security Summit agenda, click here.

 

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