Homeland Security is a high priority in Columbus. We do not live in fear of terrorist attacks, but, at the same time, we must not be lulled into complacency by the pleasant and peaceful life we enjoy in this valley. This city and region are possible terrorist targets because of our industrial base, our ties to Fort Benning and our status as one of the major metropolitan areas of Georgia.
Terrorists do not announce where they will strike, so we must be proactive and outsmart them. In seeking to do that, we have established the Columbus Office of Homeland Security and brought together the Columbus Regional Homeland Security Board.
The Office of Homeland Security plans and coordinates the city’s response to threats and, if necessary, actual breaches to our security. The Director of Emergency Management works daily on the planning aspects of the response. Many of our Homeland Security response mechanisms apply to natural and manmade disasters.
Our public safety personnel are the frontline in any response to threats and emergencies. In light of the fact that terrorists and natural disasters do not observe jurisdictional boundaries, we formed the Columbus Regional Homeland Security Board. The board meets regularly and is an effective vehicle for coordination and communication among representatives of various public safety agencies throughout our metropolitan area. Columbus, Georgia is now considered a model for other communities as they address Homeland Security issues. That is not to say, however, that we have done all we need to do. We can never say that because Homeland Security is a continuing process. We cannot afford to be complacent about Homeland Security. We will continue to protect our community and our citizens vigorously.
Mayor/Director of Public Safety