Carmel, N.Y.– 1/7/2012— On Friday, Senator Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson) introduced more than 100 members of New York’s law enforcement and fire prevention community to Jerome M. Hauer, the Governor’s appointee for Commissioner of the Department of Homeland Security at the district’s Inaugural Law Enforcement and Fire Prevention Roundtable Summit Meeting.
At the Paladin Center in Carmel, NY, Senator Ball provided a forum for each county and local municipality in the 40th Senate District to share feedback concerning the training and development needs of their police and fire departments, and to discuss their current emergency preparedness plans.
“Our first responders are the backbone of each municipality across the district, and we need to do everything in our power to make sure that they have the training, funding and support they need to keep New York safe,” Senator Ball said. “Today is an opportunity for each of the leaders in this community to come forward and tell us what they need to remain prepared and strong.”
Hauer kicked-of the roundtable discussion by thanking Senator Ball for bringing the group together, and sharing stories of his own years of service.
“I want to thank the Senator for having me here today— it’s an honor,” Hauer said. “Senator Ball has shown enormous leadership on the Homeland Security Committee. As many of you know, I’ve been in the trenches. I understand the concerns of the first responder community both on the law enforcement side and the fire and EMS side.”
Many leaders in attendance like Putnam County Sheriff Donald Smith took the opportunity to discuss the need for training regulation and training funding.
“It’s very important that we not become complacent,” said Sheriff Smith. “Complacency is really the enemy of preparedness and homeland security. It seems like after every war we let our guard down and dismantle the military, and we need to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Port Authority Police Benevolent Association Vice President Robert Morris said event like this show him that “Senator Ball’s focus is genuine and in the right place”.
“I just want to see Senator Ball continue in his effort to make sure that New York State is wired correctly and secure post-9/11,” Morris explained. “He’s been extremely helpful and a positive impact on the downstate operations, which the Port Authority is involved in regarding the World Trade Center, the airports and the infrastructure which has been so threatened and vulnerable over the years.”
The event ended with a tour of the Paladin Center, which is a professional and continuing education venue specializing in public safety and tactical defense training built of Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice and Department of Defense protocols. The tour included several live, simulated emergency scenarios for attendees to observe. (WATCH VIDEO)