Tuesday, January 31, 2012
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State's homeland security strategy focus of town hall meeting Thursday in Springfield

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[January 31, 2012]  SPRINGFIELD -- Representatives from first responder agencies, the education community, private businesses, the public, and other groups and organizations in central Illinois will provide input into development of the state's new homeland security strategy during a town hall meeting Thursday in Springfield. The meeting is the fourth of eight meetings being held around the state over the next several months.

The town hall meetings are part of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency's "Illinois Homeland Security Vision 2020," a statewide, grass-roots initiative to engage Illinois' residents and organizations in the revision of the state's strategy for dealing with current and emerging threats and risks, as well as response to disasters. Input from the series of town hall meetings will be consolidated and presented in a final summit in Springfield in September.

"The face of homeland security has changed since 9/11, and our strategy for ensuring the safety of people in Illinois must evolve to adequately address those changes," said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken. "We need to engage the whole community, including the public and private sectors as well as individual citizens, to craft a policy that will carry us through 2020 and beyond."

Vision 2020 is similar to the process Illinois undertook in 2001, shortly after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. That process resulted in the development of a statewide homeland security program that is recognized as one of the best in the nation.

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Thursday's town hall meeting will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the State Emergency Operations Center, 2200 S. Dirksen Parkway. Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to register at http://cpsj.uis.edu/ or by calling toll-free 877-864-7427.

The next town hall meeting is scheduled for March 26 in Carterville. Dates and times for the remaining three town hall meetings will be announced in the near future.

[Text from Illinois Emergency Management Agency file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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