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PARTNERSHIP AGAINST TERRORISM

08/01/03

This is a photograph of Warren Bamford, John Perren, FBI Director Mueller, Art Eberhart,  Edward Plaughter, Mike Rolince, John White, Jim Schwartz and Chris Coombs at Partnership Against Terrorism. This week the FBI was honored to participate in a first-of-its-kind conference in Arlington, Virginia, on "Lessons Learned from the 9/11 Attack on the Pentagon" -- a conference dedicated to the proposition that the American people will be best protected by cemented partnerships among U.S. law enforcement and public safety organizations on local as well as national levels.

The word that best sums up the focus of the conference? "Multidisciplinary." Multi-disciplinary teams of local government officials, local emergency and medical personnel, and law enforcement agencies in these local areas -- all working together, all planning together, all learning how to analyze the response capacity in their particular jurisdiction and set up local plans accordingly.

And so some 900 professionals from all over the country attended -- city/county managers, emergency management directors, fire chiefs, medical personnel, federal agents, police chiefs, sheriffs, and deputies. They listened to speeches by Arlington Fire Chief Ed Plaugher, Arlington County Manager Ron Carlee, FBI Director Mueller, Attorney General John Ashcroft, and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. They discussed things like emergency management, unified incident command, logistics, perimeter security, evidence collection, and medical issues.

FBI Director Mueller, who briefed attendees on the nation's progress in the war against terrorism, focused hard on the primary lesson learned from the 9/11 attacks: "Unified command," he said, "is not just the FBI and other federal agencies working together; not just the FBI, other federal agencies, and state and local law enforcement working together. Unified command is the FBI, all federal, state, and local law enforcement, the fire departments and first responders, the ambulances and medical personnel all working together. This is the model. We are all part of the team, some of us large, some of us small, all working together to successfully take control of the scene and respond effectively, not as a group of separate entities, but as one."