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Homeland Security

Statement of The Honorable Kwame M. Kilpatrick

Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs

""Investing in Homeland Security: Challenges Facing State and Local Governments""

May, 15 2003

Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick, City of Detroit
Advisory Board Member and co-Chair of the Cities and Borders Task Force,
United States Conference of Mayors
Testimony Before the United States Senate
Governmental Affairs Committee

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Chairwoman Collins, Senator Levin, and other distinguished Members of the Committee, thank you for this opportunity. My name is Kwame M. Kilpatrick, and I am the Mayor of the City of Detroit, Michigan. I am honored that my state’s senior Senator Carl Levin has asked me to come and participate in this important discussion about the role and direction of our nation’s homeland security efforts and the central focus of our local frontline, domestic defense against terrorism.

In addition to my position as Mayor of Detroit, the nation’s 10th largest city and largest port of entry on our northern border, my statements here today also reflect key concerns of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, where I serve as both a member of its Advisory Board and as Co-Chair of its Cities and Borders Task Force.

How Did We Get Here?
President Bush has declared that we are a nation at war with terrorists. And, as you are well aware, since 9/11 and the anthrax attacks soon thereafter, the role of federal, state and local governments has become much more complex and very much in a state of flux. Today, governments must identify and integrate homeland security needs and responsibilities into day-to-day activities.

We need only to look as far as the involvement of terrorists in traditional criminal activity to realize that counter terrorism is inherently tied to fighting crime every day. Therefore, to improve our homeland security, we need to improve existing technology, infrastructure and business processes so that cities and other localities can not only run more efficiently on a day-to-day basis, but also be prepared in the event of a terrorist attack.

As a nation, we have come a long way since 9/11, but we have not come nearly far enough. We still have a long way to go before we are truly and sufficiently secure in both our liberties and our safety. The nation as a whole still lacks a comprehensive threat and vulnerability analysis. We lack a coordinated, proactive and long-term strategy to lead our nation’s homeland security efforts at the local, state and federal levels.

The provisions that guide the use of federal funds should not be structured so that they impede the ability of our nation’s mayors to address local homeland security needs. Detroit’s priorities may not be the same as those of Los Angeles. Mayors need the flexibility to use the limited federal funds to address those local issues that help city officials most effectively address the national issue of homeland security. For example, immediately following the attacks of September 11, the Detroit Police Department reassigned officers to support the efforts of border security entities who sought our help. Detroit officials made this decision for a number of reasons. First, we felt it was important to support our federal colleagues. Second, any significant slowdown in the movement of people and goods at the border would have had a serious impact on our local economy and our local health care system. Third, by supporting efforts to prevent a terrorist from crossing the border, we would also make our communities safer. We initially absorbed the front-end costs of carrying out this federal responsibility. Regretfully, our early attempts to receive reimbursements for those efforts were denied. We worked aggressively with Senator Levin and our entire congressional delegation to make the funds available in the 2003 Omnibus Appropriations bill.

In addition, while there is funding available, many localities are unaware of the different grants or unclear of the processes in which to apply for the money. Therefore, they are receiving little funding and reimbursement for increased costs associated with heightened states of alert and requests for assistance. And, existing funding for public safety and other domestic needs are being threatened, eliminated or diverted toward response-driven emergency preparedness planning, training and equipment purchases. State and local law enforcement funding alone has witnessed proposed cuts of 42%. And while the Justice Department and the FBI advocate community policing to get citizens involved in crime and terror prevention, the COPS Program is subject to proposed cuts of 85%.

While it is clear that local governments need to work together, we must also recognize that each has its own needs and capabilities. Therefore, we need better communication among all levels of government. We also need better guidance so that state and local governments can prioritize and organize their individual needs in order to work toward the common goal of achieving homeland security.

What Has Detroit Done So Far?
Last year, upon taking office, I made homeland security a top priority for the City of Detroit. It was clear to me that the attacks of September 11 had forever changed the day-to-day role of federal, state and local governments. Accordingly, for the first hundred days of my administration, my top department and agency heads worked together to identify our vulnerabilities and create a plan of action to address this new reality. In April 2002, I released my comprehensive Homeland Security Strategy and 10-Point Action Plan (see appendix A).

Detroit was one of the first cities to deliver a comprehensive strategy to the federal government and in 2002, was recognized as a national model by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge. Since the release of our local strategy (the first of its kind in the nation), Detroit has accomplished many things including:

· Appointing a full time homeland security director;
· Establishing a citywide Homeland Security Council made up of single points of contact within each city agency;
· Conducting a full threat and vulnerability assessment that identifies potential targets within the city;
· Enhancing the physical security around these potential targets;
· Developing a process for constant updating of this threat and vulnerability assessment;
· Beginning enhancement of the emergency and non-emergency phone systems used by the public to contact authorities;
· Beginning efforts to link the radio systems used by first responders;
· Improving information sharing with other federal, state, local and private sector entities so that we can do a better job detecting, preventing and responding to any terrorist threat; and
· Identifying and prioritizing unmet needs for local, state and federal funding assistance.

Over the past year, Detroit has made tremendous progress in improving its ability to protect the people who work in, live in and visit the city from potential acts of terrorism. Still, Detroit’s approach acknowledges that the front lines of the nation’s war on terrorism are our cities and towns across America. And now, efforts to detect, prevent and respond to terrorism are a part of the day-to-day responsibility of local government. But efforts to stop terrorism need not be carried out at the expense of day-to-day services. In fact, Detroit’s approach acknowledges that the communications, information and operational systems used to provide effective emergency and non-emergency service every day are the foundation of its homeland defense efforts. Therefore, as a part of its long-term homeland security efforts, Detroit has made it a priority to upgrade and enhance the telecommunications and information systems and the management practices used by city agencies in an effort to improve day-to-day service delivery. This approach has been replicated by a number of other jurisdictions.

Perhaps most importantly, I have worked to reach out to the diverse communities in Detroit to not only keep the public informed but also to assure them that everything is being done to ensure their safety without compromising their civil liberties. On March 24, 2003, I held a town hall meeting, inviting citizens and city, regional and state officials. More than a thousand people gathered for an open discussion about our homeland security efforts. Our first responders were able to outline the many steps Detroit has taken since I released a homeland security strategy. I have heard from many citizens who tell me that they now feel more secure and prepared.

Riding on the success of our town hall, the city continues to urge citizens to get more involved. We have established Citizen Corps and have generated renewed interest in community groups like our citizen radio patrols.

It is this kind of open communication and cooperation that I believe needs to happen on every level of government in order for homeland security to be successful.

Recommendations: Where We Need To Go
I believe that the City of Detroit’s approach is worth further consideration and large-scale adoption as a process. Each city, county or state will come up with its own unique but equally comprehensive strategy, based on its own particular assets and vulnerabilities. These efforts will necessarily lend themselves to development of immediate, short and long-term actions that move entities toward greater integration, efficiency and interoperability.

Accordingly, federal, state and local governments must work aggressively to identify and ensure the protection of those infrastructures and assets that we deem most critical in terms of national level public health and safety, governance, economic and national security and public confidence. This requires a comprehensive, state-by-state, jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction, business-by-business and market-by-market threat assessment and vulnerability analysis of critical infrastructures and assets. It cannot be done in an ad hoc, non-inclusive, reactive or subjective way if it is to provide immediate, short and long-term success in achieving efficient and effective national security and homeland defense. This review will identify critical factors for targeting resources, funding and priorities. As part of that, I strongly believe that ports of entry and border areas must be given priority consideration.

The nation’s focus on homeland security cannot be done in a vacuum, separate and apart from day-to-day services. It must be a truly “all hazards” approach and cannot take funding and resources away from traditional public safety, public health and emergency preparedness programs such as COPS, FEMA and OJP-administered grant programs like Edward Byrne Memorial Grants or Local Law Enforcement Block Grants Programs.

Additionally, the federal focus must move beyond airports to include points of entry and exit such as ports, cargo containers/shipping systems, transportation networks (trucks, waterways and rail) and borders. In the first quarter of 2003, approximately 4% of all containers coming through our 360 ports have been inspected. The physical security of such critical components of our global economic system is also still woefully inadequate, including the protection of roads, rails, tunnels, bridges subways, buses and other modes of transportation.

The national homeland security strategy should embrace day-to-day public service delivery systems as the foundation for developing a cost-effective and efficient homeland security infrastructure in these tight financial times. To that end, I propose the following:

· Cities have their own unique needs based on their specific threat assessments. Therefore, more homeland security funding should flow directly to the local governments.

· Local governments need to be directly involved in the analysis of critical infrastructure and assets, threat assessments, strategic planning and the development and implementation of homeland security efforts.

· We need more federal direction, leadership and guidance in order to develop, coordinate and implement comprehensive local and state homeland security initiatives.

· We need to view the role of localities as more than just first responders. In the future, a police officer with the help from a member of the community may be the first to identify an impending terrorist threat.

· State and local governments need to be included in specific planning and implementation of port and border security efforts.

We must be as swift, decisive and resolute in our dedication to domestic homeland security as we were in Afghanistan and Iraq. As the Senate considers these issues, I urge that you all take my comments on behalf of the City of Detroit and the U.S. Conference of Mayors under serious consideration.

Thank you again for the opportunity to speak with you today. I look forward to continuing to work with you Madame Chair as well as the Members of the Governmental Affairs Committee.

(prepared as seperate attachment)


City of Detroit
Action Plan for Homeland Security
April 4, 2002

Action Items

The City of Detroit is home to the global headquarters of three of the world’s top automakers – a critical part of America’s economic infrastructure. The city serves as one of the busiest points of entry for the nation’s northern border. Detroit is the largest city in the State of Michigan, has one of the largest convention facilities in the United States, several professional sporting arenas, two major airports, and its sits along major waterway. While Detroit faces many of the same security concerns as other major metropolitan areas, in many ways the city is unique and therefore faces unique challenges.

Today, and for the foreseeable future, efforts to detect, prevent, and/or respond to terrorism must be a part of the daily operations of the departments and agencies that make up the government of the City of Detroit.

The city’s homeland security efforts will be based on two important principles. First, efforts to protect those who live, work, and visit the city from future acts of terrorism need not be done at the expense of effective day-to-day service. Nor does it require that the city invest millions of dollars for technology and equipment that only is used in the event of a terrorist attack. In fact, the very information technology, communication systems, and business processes that support effective service delivery each and every day provide the foundation for effective efforts to detect, prevent and/or respond to terrorism and other critical incidents.

Second, the city will not compromise its commitment to uphold civil liberties, and to sustain and dramatically strengthen the city’s proactive, positive partnership with the increasingly diverse communities throughout the city, the region, and the state. The violation of civil rights -- whether through racial, ethnic or some other biased-based profiling -- will not be tolerated in the city in the name of anti-terrorism, homeland security or any other justification.

In an effort to better safeguard the people who live, work and visit Detroit from future acts of terrorism, the city will undertake the following actions.

Action 1: The city will appoint a Homeland Security Coordinator to manage the implementation of this action plan.

Additionally, the Homeland Security Coordinator will monitor efforts by individual municipal departments to upgrade and re-engineer core components of the city’s service delivery infrastructure. The Coordinator will integrate the city’s homeland security efforts with those of other federal, state, regional and local entities as well as prioritize and manage requests for state and federal funding.

Action 2: The city will develop a comprehensive emergency response strategy.

This plan will build upon the existing intra-agency emergency response plans and will include an assessment of potential targets for attack, such as buildings, waterworks, power plants, and fuel storage facilities, and a detailed response plan that includes how federal, state, local and private entities will work together to prevent and/or respond to critical incidents. This plan will be updated on an ongoing basis or when a new threat is identified.

Action 3: The Mayor will lead a regional effort focused on establishing a smart, safe, and secure border.

This effort will focus on easing traffic congestion and increasing the flow of legitimate goods over the border while at the same time protecting the nation (and city) from future terrorist attacks, illegal immigration, illegal drugs and other contraband. This summer, the Mayor will convene a “Border Summit” in which he will invite public safety, corporate and community leaders from both sides of the border to discuss border related issues and to develop a strategy to make the border more secure, smarter, and more efficient.

Action 4: The City of Detroit will connect the radio systems currently in use by Police, Fire, and EMS and expand its wireless data infrastructure.

The city will deploy a wireless interoperability network that will link the independent radio systems currently in use by the various entities operating throughout the metropolitan area so that first responders will be able to communicate with each other more effectively.

The city will also upgrade and expand its wireless data infrastructure so that senior officials and other appropriate government personnel can:

· receive, respond to and update service requests;
· be provided “alert” information;
· send and receive two-way text messages; and
· retrieve data from city and other key information systems.

It is essential that this wireless data system is operational at times when public telephone and cellular networks and the city’s private radio system are overwhelmed due to high demand.

Action 5: The city will upgrade its E9-1-1 system and improve the public’s ability to access non-emergency service.

Over the next 60 days, the city will conduct an in-depth assessment of the its E9-1-1 and 3-1-1 police non-emergency number systems and then take steps to upgrade both systems. These upgrades may include:

· expanding the 3-1-1 system so that it provides the public access to all city services; and
· establishing a centralized work order management system that will link every city agency and provide the city with the capability of tracking the quality of services provided to the public.

The city will also begin working with the United Way of Southeastern Michigan and its coalition of health and human service providers to assist in its efforts to deploy a 2-1-1 system for free and easy access to information and referral of health and human services.

Action 6: The city will deploy an electronic public health surveillance system.

The city, working with the Detroit Medical Center, will take steps establish a public health disease surveillance system that will assist in the identification and response to both naturally occurring disease outbreak and biological and/or chemical weapon attacks. The city will help establish an Internet based, secure information system that links emergency, urgent-care, and other appropriate healthcare related entities and facilities.

Action 7: Information sharing between federal, state, county, and local public safety and other appropriate entities will be improved.

Public safety information and communication systems will be interlinked with those of other city government systems (such as those that support transportation, public health, social service, and public utility related activities). This will assist in detecting trends and provide rapid flow of information during critical events.

Action 8: The city will take steps to mobilize local communities to work with authorities to prevent future acts of domestic terrorism.

Building upon existing police neighborhood watch programs and the Mayor’s Neighborhood City Halls (NCH) program, the city will make it a priority to provide information to community members so that they can become active participants in the city’s homeland defense efforts.

Action 9: The city will develop comprehensive training programs for healthcare providers, first responders, and other personnel.

The City of Detroit will design and deploy a comprehensive training program to prepare first responders, health care professionals, community members and others to address the complex issues associated with homeland defense.

Action 10: The city will develop a prioritized list of projects, events and programs for pursuing additional state and federal resources. The city will seek special security status for upcoming G-8 meeting of energy ministers.

As the planning efforts for the G-8 event have progressed, it has become clear that the costs associated with ensuring a safe and secure environment for this type of international event under current circumstances exceeds the resource and fiscal capabilities of the city and its regional partners. Planning for this type of international meeting is complex and, in light of the past disturbances at similar events, the city is making a special request to the Office of Homeland Security for additional federal resources.

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