Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed Elected Chair of the Metro Atlanta Urban Area Security Initiative

Program develops and provides regional strategies to improve homeland security efforts in metro Atlanta
Mayor Kasim Reed recently was unanimously elected chair of the Metro Atlanta Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) Senior Policy Group.

UASI was developed in 2003 as a result of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2002. The program was established to provide grants to assist high-risk urban areas in preventing, protecting, responding and recovering from acts of terrorism.

Since 2003, the Metro Atlanta UASI has been actively engaged in strategic planning efforts with local, state and federal partners to ensure effective communications within the region in the event of an incident. In 2006, the program also began to concentrate on more regional collaborative efforts in the areas of fire, police, medical and citizen preparedness.

“I am honored to have been appointed chair of the Metro Atlanta UASI Senior Policy Group,” Mayor Reed said. “I believe elected leaders have no greater responsibility than to ensure the safety of their constituents. I look forward to working with the Metro Atlanta UASI to make the City of Atlanta and the region as safe and secure as possible.”

As chair of the Senior Policy Group, Mayor Reed will work in collaboration with the Board of Commission Chairs of Cobb, Clayton, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett counties to develop regional strategies designed to improve homeland security efforts in and around the metro Atlanta area.

“The Program Administration Office would like to congratulate and welcome Mayor Kasim Reed as the Chair of the Metro Atlanta UASI Senior Policy Group/Urban Area Working Group (UAWG),” said Julia Janka, Program Director for the Metro Atlanta UASI. “The Program Administration Office looks forward to assisting Mayor Reed in growing the program through his leadership and guidance. We stand ready to provide program and operational support for the Metro Atlanta UASI region.”

The Metro Atlanta UASI is required to focus regionally on the following programs and objectives:

Regional Collaboration
National Incident Management System (NIMS) Compliance
National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP)
Interoperable Communications
Information Sharing and response among law enforcement agencies
Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear and High Explosives (CBRNE) capabilities
Evacuation Planning
Citizen Corps/Citizen Participation/Volunteerism
Regional Transportation and Transit Security

UASI is administered through the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP). The grant provides funding to high-risk areas based on risk and effectiveness to address planning, operations, equipment, training and exercise on a multi-disciplinary level.

Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin served as the first chair of the group and is succeeded by Mayor Kasim Reed. Chairman Charles Bannister of Gwinnett County served as Interim Chair for six months until elections were held in July.
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