U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8), one of the first members of Congress appointed to the House Homeland Security Committee, brought to the House floor and spoke in strong support of House Resolution 1320, a bipartisan measure authored by U.S. Rep. Michael E. McMahon (NY-13) that salutes all who acted, from civilians to law enforcement professionals, in response to the attempted terrorist bombing in Times Square. Their valiant efforts were successful in helping apprehend the prime suspect a little more than 53 hours later.
"I've long said that real homeland security starts on our streets, not on the halls in Washington, D.C.," said Pascrell, speaking on the House floor. "While I know others may say we just got lucky, I say that they're missing the point. Our post-911 efforts to foster greater vigilance among our citizens and a culture of preparedness and collaboration among our first responders in law enforcement paid off. We stayed true to our cherished constitutional principles at the same time."
In his remarks, Rep. Pascrell acknowledged the alertness of Lance Orton and Duane Jackson, who notified police of a suspicious vehicle on 45th Street in New York City. He also specifically recognized New York City Police Officer, Wayne Rhatigan, for his responsiveness. The resolution commends all New York City, New York State, Connecticut, and federal agencies who worked to apprehend Faisal Shahzad before he fled the country.
"53 hours and 17 minutes. That is what it took, Madame Speaker, for the Federal law enforcement agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, to identify, find, and apprehend Mr. Faisal Shahzad, the prime suspect for this attempted act of terror," Pascrell said.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-8) thanked Rep. Pascrell for his efforts in advancing the resolution.
"In the wake of the spoiled terrorist plot, we are inspired by the true character of the American people and recall that our country's character can always be found in the hearts and deeds of its citizens," Pelosi said.
Rep. Charles Dent (R-NJ-15) joined Rep. Pascrell's call to support first responders and local law enforcement, particularly in urban areas.
"This incident is only the most recent in a string of attempted attacks on New York City," Dent said.
Rep. Pascrell's entire House floor statement can be viewed at: