DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

WHEREAS, America's mayors are 100 percent committed to the homeland war against terrorism; and

WHEREAS, following the tragic and criminal attacks of September 11, the Conference of Mayors sponsored a Mayors Emergency Safety and Security Summit in October of 2001 at which mayors, police chiefs, fire chiefs, emergency managers, and public health officials developed a National Action Plan for Safety and Security in America's Cities which has been presented to President Bush, the Administration and Congress; and

WHEREAS, mayors have long been concerned by the multiplicity of federal agencies which have responsibility for helping cities prepare for a possible weapons of mass destruction event, and for the incident and the incident consequences stages of an attack; and

WHEREAS, the National Action Plan specifically calls for the creation of a new Cabinet-level office of Homeland Security to be authorized by Congress with full budgetary authority over all federal personnel and programs related to the domestic protection of our homeland; and

WHEREAS, President George W. Bush has proposed the creation of a new Cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security with streamlined decision-making authority and control over many homeland defense functions,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors supports the creation of a new Department of Homeland Security; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the President, his Administration and Congress should work closely with the nation's mayors in developing the final structure of this new Department, and on the implementation of this important streamlining and coordination effort; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED by The U.S. Conference of Mayors that the Congress of the United States must and should create or designate a single entity, within the executive branch of the federal government, to serve as a single point of contact for local public safety agencies, and to develop and promulgate a single, national strategy for terrorism preparedness, that focuses on local needs, and provides a framework through which progress can be measured; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the new Department of Homeland Security should be structured to streamline federal terrorism prevention and emergency preparedness programs, ensure that funding is provided directly to cities and our first responders, and ensure that critical intelligence is shared with mayors and our local law enforcement personnel.