George W. Bush photo

Remarks Following a Roundtable Discussion on Homeland Security in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

January 30, 2002

Listen, I want to thank you very much. Mr. Mayor, thanks a lot. I'm honored to be here with the chief of the fire department and the chief of the police department and other citizens concerned about the safety of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

We're here because this community has figured out a while ago that there needs to be a collaborative effort amongst providers to provide an emergency response plan in case something were to happen. I'm here to highlight the success of this community. I'm here to highlight the fact that we've got people from different jurisdictions sitting down to develop a strategy response in case something were to happen.

Last night I talked about the need for this country to have a strong homeland security strategy. It starts at the local level. And so part of our plan to make sure the country is more secure is to encourage cities and counties to develop a homeland defense strategy for their area, similar to what is taking place here in Winston-Salem.

So I'm here to congratulate you all and herald a fine collaborative effort. One of the interesting byproducts of planning for a disaster and working with the Federal Government when it comes to homeland security is, your community will be strong before and afterwards, that there will be a better health care system afterwards, safer neighborhoods afterwards.

And I want to again thank you for your hospitality. It's good to be in the great State of North Carolina. And I'm glad to show off to the Nation what is possible when people of good will and good heart get together and say, "I'm going to do my job in a collaborative effort to make my community safer."

So, thanks, Sylvia. Good work.

NOTE: The President spoke at 2:47 p.m. at the Center for Community Safety, part of Winston-Salem State University. In his remarks, he referred to Mayor J. Allen Joines of Winston-Salem; John Gist, chief, Winston-Salem Fire Department; Linda Davis, chief, Winston-Salem Police Department; and Sylvia Oberle, executive director, Center for Community Safety. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

George W. Bush, Remarks Following a Roundtable Discussion on Homeland Security in Winston-Salem, North Carolina Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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