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Readout of Secretary Napolitano's Remarks at the National Sheriffs' Association 2012 Winter Conference

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today delivered remarks at the National Sheriffs' Association 2012 Winter Conference highlighting the Department's progress over the past three years working together with state and local law enforcement to build a safer, more secure and resilient nation.

"Homeland security starts with hometown security, and we all have a role to play," said Secretary Napolitano. "We have made extraordinary progress in improving how we share information, train together, and build new capabilities while identifying and addressing evolving threats to enhance public safety and security."

During her remarks, Secretary Napolitano underscored the Department's collaboration with law enforcement and first responders on countering violent extremism and human trafficking, reporting suspicious activity, securing the border and enforcing our nation's immigration laws, through training and information sharing initiatives. The Department continues its strong support for fusion centers, working in coordination with other federal partners, through training, technical assistance, technology and grant funding as well as the deployment of DHS intelligence officers to fusion centers, who work alongside their state and local counterparts to assess evolving threats and share information.

Secretary Napolitano discussed the Department's efforts to enhance law enforcement prevention and protection activities through grant funding. In 2011, DHS awarded more than $2.1 billion in federal preparedness grants to assist states, urban areas, tribal and territorial governments, non-profit agencies, and the private sector in strengthening our nation's ability to prevent, protect, respond to, recover from, and mitigate terrorist attacks, major disasters and other emergencies.

Secretary Napolitano also reiterated President Obama's call for Congress to take action to prevent layoffs of law enforcement and first responders, and to keep our communities safe by passing legislation such as the American Jobs Act. The legislation would provide $5 billion in assistance to states and local communities to create or save thousands of law enforcement and first responder jobs across the country.

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