October 16, 2001
Governor John Engler said today that the U.S. Department of Justice has approved Michigans anti-terror strategy and terrorism threat assessment. The plan one of the first submitted to Washington was developed by the Michigan State Police (MSP) Emergency Management Division with information and support from 94 emergency management programs statewide and the review and approval of the Michigan Anti-Terrorism Task Force.
"Michigan has a long and successful record of state agencies working cooperatively with local and federal government to plan and prepare for emergencies," said Governor Engler. "Our ability to respond quickly makes Michigan a national leader in domestic preparedness."
Set up by Governor Engler in 1996, the Michigan Anti-Terrorism Task Force includes representatives from the MSP; the Michigan National Guard; state departments of Environmental Quality, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Community Health; the U.S. Department of Defense; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; the U.S. Public Health Service; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, along with local agencies.
Since its inception, the task force has met quarterly to share information, coordinate local, state and federal preparedness efforts and make recommendations to Governor Engler and the MSP. In light of the recent terrorist attacks, the task force is meeting more frequently to assure that Michigans response is coordinated across all agencies and levels of government.
With federal approval, Michigans three-year strategic plan allows $5 to $6 million in federal funds to flow to local law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical services, emergency management programs and health departments for the purchase of approved equipment that would be used to respond to weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
"You cant just pass a law and expect results," said Governor Engler. "Protecting the people demands time to plan, hard work and hands-on experience."
Michigan was the fifth jurisdiction to apply out of the 54 jurisdictions eligible for funding nationwide. The states application was approved by the Office for Domestic Preparedness within the U.S. Department of Justice.
Funding from the program has already been allocated in Michigan to support a regional response team network (which responds to WMD incidents, including chemical or biological weapons), the MSP Bomb Squad and the Michigan Urban Search and Rescue organization (which responds to special rescue situations, such as structural collapse or cave-ins).
Governor Engler also noted that MSP Director Colonel Mike Robinson is the states contact with the new Federal Office of Homeland Security. Under his direction, the MSP Emergency Management Division is responsible for the coordination of all state security actions.
Working closely with the MSP team that developed Michigans anti-terrorism plan were experts from the National Guard, the Commission on Law Enforcement Standards, the Firefighters Training Council, the departments of Consumer and Industry Services and Community Health and local emergency management programs.