Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security News Release
For immediate release, September 1, 2011
Contact: Robert Feeley, (208) 422-3033 or 208-859-6943
Tenth Anniversary of 9/11
The tragic events that unfolded ten years ago, on September 11th, left an indelible mark on America and brought the realities of international terrorism to our homeland. In Idaho the tragedy brought home the need to prepare for not only natural disasters, but also those caused by those who seek to harm our people, infrastructure and institutions.
After 9/11 Idaho’s state and local governments began taking a more proactive approach to developing the capability to prevent and respond to terrorist threats. Resources such as bomb squads and hazardous materials response teams, located within local departments, have been trained and equipped to detect and deflect incidents before they expand. Information sharing between officials, loosely coordinated prior to 9/11, has become standard and coordinated. The steps taken to prepare Idaho are based in the emergency planning process which details not only response to man-made incidents, but also natural ones such as fires, floods or earthquakes.
The Bureau of Homeland Security (BHS) supports our state when disasters such as floods or earthquakes occur, and also has a key role in coordinating Idaho’s homeland security efforts as well. This requires BHS to work with the private sector and government agencies at the state and local level to prevent and prepare for, and respond and recover to, all hazards including terrorism. In this role BHS has also taken an active approach to putting safeguards in place around infrastructure such as dams and facilities that are critical to Idaho’s stability.
Prudence dictates the importance of preparing, and Idahoans need not fear attack. Should there be an indication of a potential terrorist act, the federal Department of Homeland Security will issue information through the National Terrorist Alert System. Citizens are encouraged to remain aware of their surroundings, and if they see something out of the ordinary they should say something to law enforcement officials by calling 9-1-1.
“In our state the Bureau of Homeland Security and the Idaho State Police work closely with my office as well as with federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in our efforts to keep Idaho safe and Idahoans informed,” said Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter. “On this anniversary of 9/11 we remember those Americans who lost their lives and our solemn duty to do all we can to prevent it from happening again.”
“Our security efforts have increased significantly since we saw our homeland attacked on 9/11,” said Brigadier General Bill Shawver, BHS Director. “Those efforts include an array of actions to prevent terrorist actions and to protect our state so that we can avoid experiencing events like that tragic day.”
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Note to reporters: The Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security is the State of Idaho’s emergency management agency. Please note that Idaho BHS is an Idaho-specific agency, and it is not the same thing as the federal Department of Homeland Security. Within the State of Idaho organizational chart, Idaho BHS is aligned under the State of Idaho Military Division.