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 2010 Homeland Security Summit a Huge Success

 

Nov. 19, 2010

CHARLESTON, W.VA. – The West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety (DMAPS) this week hosted the 2010 West Virginia Homeland Security Summit to review the state’s homeland security strategy and generate discussion that will help move the department’s efforts forward.
 
“It is no secret that West Virginia receives limited funding from the federal government for our homeland security projects and programs,” said Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Joe Thornton. “For that reason, it is critical to our success that West Virginia be a leader nationally in recognizing, developing and implementing methods that best utilize our pool of limited resources. Our annual homeland security summit is an opportunity to sit down with key stakeholders at the local, regional and federal level to ensure our strategies continue to support our overarching public safety mission.”

This year’s conference was held at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. from Tuesday, Nov. 16 to Thursday, Nov. 18, and was attended by more than 300 individuals representing a variety of local, state and federal public and private entities. Summit participants included subject matter experts such as law enforcement officers, first responders, emergency managers, homeland security advisors and other government, non-profit and business leaders.

During the three-day summit, at least seven seminars were presented and 17 subject specific workshops were conducted to stimulate ideas and collect feedback from participants. These sessions not only provided an opportunity for attendees to collaborate and leverage the expertise of others, but they also identified areas that need improvement and those which have been successful.

One of several reoccurring topics was information gathering and sharing which emphasized the importance of the West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center. The Fusion Center began operations less than three years ago and currently assists local and state law enforcement agencies, as well as the federal government, by gathering, analyzing and sharing information and intelligence related to criminal activity and all other hazards.
 
Other summit highlights included: cyber security – identifying current and potential cyber threats as well as ways to be proactive in cyber security; critical infrastructure – the identification and reduction of vulnerabilities related to critical and essential infrastructure; credentialing – the importance of establishing standardized identity proofing and security clearance methods for first responders and government employees; and citizen and community preparedness – establishing local and community preparedness plans through support of local businesses, government and individuals.

This was the third State Homeland Security Summit since 2007.

Contact: Heather Miles, 304-558-2930