IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2001

Griffin to Host Other Mayors on Weapons of Mass Destruction

This week Reno Mayor Jeff Griffin will convene a meeting of Mayors from Nevada, California, Idaho, Utah and Arizona to discuss how cities can prepare for the possibility of terrorist attacks using weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Griffin is Chair of The U.S. Conference of Mayors Criminal and Social Justice Committee and a Member of the Advisory Board.

The meeting will take place on Friday, May 18 at the Reno Hilton Hotel. The meeting itself will be closed to the media, but there will be a news conference at 12:00 noon in the Ruby II room, on the Mezzanine level of the Reno Hilton Hotel.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors has been working with the U. S. Department of Justice and Texas A&M University to develop a mayoral training institute on weapons of mass destruction. The goal of the training is to help prepare mayors for the roles and responsibilities they must assume during a WMD event, as crisis coordinators and informational spokespeople, and also to learn what their city must do to be ready for such an attack. The meeting will be an opportunity for the mayors to learn from experts at Texas A&M, and to learn from each other.

At the national level, leadership on this issue is being provided by Reno Mayor Jeff Griffin. "World events over the past year have only served to heighten the urgency of preparing American cities for the increasingly more tangible possibility of terrorist attack," Griffin said. "No matter who the federal or state governments think should be in charge of preparing for and responding to a WMD event, the mayor is the one person in a community whom our citizens will demand address the issue in the event of an actual incident. We will be called on immediately to direct police, fire and emergency response resources, restore calm, coordinate activities with federal, state and local partners, and provide the information our citizens will need regarding the specific nature of the attack and proper responses. This type of training is essential to America's mayors."

The United States Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are about 1,100 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor.

###

©2004 U.S. Conference of Mayors