IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 2001

Morial Appoints Mayoral Task Force on Federal-Local Law Enforcement
First Meeting to be Held in New Orleans on October 15

Washington, DC -- U.S. Conference of Mayors President and New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial today appointed a special task force of mayors to work on issues related to federal-local law enforcement cooperation and coordination.

The task force will be led by Reno Mayor Jeff Griffin, Chair of the Conference's Crime and Public Safety Standing Committee, Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, and Gary Mayor Scott King, and will work closely with key police chiefs from around the nation. Other members of the task force include Denver Mayor Wellington E. Webb, San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer, Laredo Mayor Elizabeth Flores, and Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell.

The task force will meet first in New Orleans on October 15. The work of this task force and other mayoral working groups will lay the groundwork for the U.S. Conference of Mayors Emergency, Safety and Security Summit to be held on October 23-25, 2001 in Washington.

"It is our strong desire to assist Governor Ridge and the Administration in designing the new Office of Homeland Security so that it is given real authority to streamline federal emergency preparedness efforts," wrote Mayor Morial in a recent letter to Congress. "Based on our experience with the fight against drugs, mayors strongly believe that major changes will be necessary if we are to see results in the fight against terrorism."

On the critical issue of information sharing, Morial stated, "We also remain concerned regarding the sharing of information between federal and local public safety professionals. At a time when our nation's cities have proved to be the targets of terrorist attacks, it is critically important that federal law enforcement officials provide up-to-the-minute information to our police regarding possible threats and suspected terrorists. In addition, it has been shown that local police can be a valuable resource in the effort to locate suspected terrorists if provided adequate information."

Contact: Andy Solomon (202) 861-6766

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