On the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on America, the National Governors Association (NGA) has announced the creation of a Public Safety Task Force in recognition of governors' evolving role and responsibility in enhancing the safety of their states' residents.
The new task force will consolidate safety- and security-related issues in what NGA Chair Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano called a comprehensive and strategic approach to coordinating governors' planning and actions in the areas of homeland security, protection of critical infrastructure, emergency response, pandemic preparedness, National Guard readiness and traditional law enforcement activities.
"Never before have public safety issues been so important to state governors," said Gov. Napolitano. "This new task force provides a forum that will promote state-federal partnerships to ensure the safety of our citizens."
Membership of the task force will reflect its goal of uniting the distinct but often overlapping issues in the broad area of public safety. The task force will consist of lead governors on the National Guard, North Carolina Gov. Michael Easley and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford; lead governors on Homeland Security Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney; NGA Vice Chair Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty; and West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin. Gov. Pawlenty and Gov. Minner will serve as co-chairs.
"Protecting the public from threats to their health and safety is the most significant responsibility faced by any governor," Gov. Pawlenty explained. "This task force underscores governors’ collective commitment to working together to protect the residents of all states, commonwealths and territories." For more information visit www.nga.org.