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Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security
Governor Brad Henry
Kerry Pettingill, Director
OKOHS logo

Media Advisory –

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SECRETARY NAPOLITANO PARTICIPATES IN RESPONDER ROUNDTABLE

Oklahoma City, OK (April 19, 2010)—In commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, visiting dignitary U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano participated in a roundtable discussion with local public safety officials involved in the April 19, 1995 response effort and current homeland security initiatives.

“We thank Secretary Napolitano for the opportunity to personally discuss important issues to the response community,” said Oklahoma Homeland Security Director Kerry Pettingill.  “Her time is valuable and particularly on this day when we reflect on the lives lost, it is a strong showing of solidarity against this kind of violence that the Secretary has joined us in honoring the victims and providing encouragement to the first responders of Oklahoma City.”

The interactive luncheon centered on the current state of public safety homeland security efforts in Oklahoma and how DHS could help meet the needs of local and state agencies. First responders from central Oklahoma were in attendance including Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty, Oklahoma City Fire Chief Keith Bryant, Oklahoma County Emergency Management Director David Barnes as well as other representatives from the public safety community.

“These are the responders who are on the front line of homeland security efforts in Oklahoma.  They are the ones who work to prevent, protect, respond and recover every day in central Oklahoma.  I appreciate their willingness to meet with the Secretary today and provide their perspective,” said Pettingill.

Topics at the roundtable included the current “risk based” funding approach to homeland security grants and sustainment concerns.  Secretary Napolitano was receptive to the discussion and appreciative of the input from the first responders.

Governor Brad Henry and First Lady Kim Henry were also in attendance at the responder roundtable event.  Other officials also participating included FEMA Region VI Regional Administrator Tony Russell, Congresswoman Mary Fallin, Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins, and Assistant City Manager M.T. Berry.

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Click here to view a slide show from the 15th anniversary ceremony.