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OKOHS DIRECTOR SPEAKS TO INTERNATIONAL VISITORS ABOUT HOMELAND SECURITY

07-27-2004

international visitors, july 2004

Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security (OKOHS) Director Kerry Pettingill spoke to a group of international visitors about counter-terrorism efforts in the State of Oklahoma.

The International Visitors Council consisted of 20 individuals from 15 different countries. The group included journalists, military officials, government officials and educators. They came to the United States to find out about our country?s war on terrorism.

Pettingill described for the international visitors OKOHS? three main objectives: to prevent terrorist attacks, reduce Oklahoma?s vulnerability to terrorist attacks and to minimize the damage and recover should an attack occur.

He stressed the role citizens play in prevention and preparedness. Pettingill told council members that Oklahomans are the eyes and ears for the state homeland security office and local law enforcement. ?We have to remind them that our lives have changed forever,? Pettingill told the council. ?And because of that when someone sees something suspicious or out of place they need to call the police.?

Another idea he emphasized to the International Visitors Council is that terrorists come from all parts of the globe, all backgrounds.

During their three weeks in the U.S., the 20-member council will meet with government officials, members of think tanks and specialists in counter-terrorism efforts. They are visiting New York, Washington, D.C., New Orleans, Sand Diego, Portland as well as Oklahoma. The council includes:

Argentina
Bosnia-Herzegovina
Botswana
Croatia
Denmark
Ireland
Jordan
Kazakhstan
New Zealand
Nigeria
Romania
Saudia Arabia
Singapore
Spain
Thailand