Governor Gray Davis - Digital Library
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Protecting Californians: Homeland Security

No state has done more than California to protect its citizens and vital assets since the terrorist attacks of September 11. In the aftermath of America's tragedy, Governor Davis moved rapidly to protect Californians by:

• Directing the Highway Patrol to provide additional protection for our highways, dams and water supply.

• Activating the National Guard to patrol 28 airports across California and its major bridges.

• Increasing security for our power plants and food supply.

• Enhancing the state of readiness of our public health system.

Emergency Preparation
California's ability to respond rapidly to terror was enhanced by actions Governor Davis took back in 1999. That spring, he established the State Strategic Committee on Terrorism (SSCOT) and the State Threat Assessment Committee. These entities gave us a head start in marshaling our forces in this war against terrorism.

Governor Davis directed state agencies to implement five key SSCOT recommendations, including:

• Developing a registry of health and medical personnel to be called upon to assist in a bio-terrorism emergency.

• Providing coordinated training for local law enforcement, emergency and health personnel on terrorism response.

• Crisis counseling services to terrorism victims and their families.

• Working with the private sector to solicit a list of "best practices" for security measures at sensitive sites.

• Assessing the state's computer infrastructure to determine its vulnerability to cyber-terrorism.

Responding to National Threats
Following September 11, California acted swiftly to protect our airports, bridges, highways and dams, to secure our water supplies and electricity grid and to prepare our health facilities.

Governor Davis established the California Anti-Terrorism Information Center in the Attorney General's office and the California Joint Information Center in the Office of Emergency Services. These actions have made California a model of preparedness - recognized even by the federal Office of Homeland Security.

On February 7, 2002, the FAA approved the Governor's first-of-its-kind "Safe Skies" proposal, allowing CHP officers to carry a firearm and provide extra protection when flying on in-state flights in the normal course of their duties.

In addition, the Governor hired one of the country's most experienced anti-terrorist experts as his security adviser and Director of the newly established California Office of Homeland Security - George Vinson, a 10-year veteran of the California Highway Patrol and a 23-year veteran of the FBI.

The Governor lead a delegation of California business leaders to meet with US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and other Federal officials to showcase California technologies and products.

Since March 2003, the Governor through his Office of Homeland Security has distributed nearly $225 million in grant funding for California's first responders. These monies will equip and better prepare our law enforcement, fire and emergency medical personnel to respond to terrorism.

The Governor has also:

• Worked with the Director of Homeland Security to create a tiered system of public warnings when terrorist threats occur.

• Ensured that state law enforcement officials have the authority to obtain court-ordered monitoring of phone and e-mail communications of suspected terrorists and to permit "expedited" wiretaps on suspects.

• Tightened controls over transportation of toxic and hazardous waste materials.

In addition, he has sponsored and signed legislation to increase penalties for crimes of terrorism. He has:

• Made it illegal to carry toy weapons or fake weapons in airports, train stations, and other public transportation facilities.

• Required private security guards to undergo background checks with the FBI and the California Department of Justice before beginning work.

• Increased penalties for possessing or using Weapons of Mass Destruction.

• Strengthened safeguards and increases special handling restrictions on biological and hazardous waste.