FRIDAY, MAY 14, 2004


Good morning! I'm Deborah Daniels, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Office of Justice Programs. I want to welcome you to the Department of Justice and thank you for being here today to help launch this unprecedented partnership effort to improve law enforcement's ability to collect, analyze, and share criminal intelligence.

As most of you here probably know, the impetus for the National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan had its origin shortly after the September 11 terrorist attacks, when law enforcement leaders across the country realized that we had to do a better job of sharing information if we were going to be able to protect our homeland from future terrorism.

Thanks to the dedication, foresight, and expertise of all of you in this room, we now have an action plan for building an intelligence capacity in our nation's law enforcement agencies and for improving our ability to share information across jurisdictions.

These efforts would not have been possible without the outstanding leadership of Chief Joseph Polisar and others at the International Association of Chiefs of Police. It was at a summit hosted by the IACP that the concept we officially launch today was born.

I want to thank Chief Polisar for his significant personal dedication to this initiative, and for co-hosting our program this morning. Please welcome IACP President, and Chief of Police for the City of Garden Grove, California, Chief Joe Polisar.

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Thank you, Attorney General Ashcroft. We appreciate your taking the time to demonstrate your commitment to this effort. I know your schedule won't permit you to stay, but thank you for being here and for pledging your continued support for the National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan.

I now have the honor and privilege of introducing our next speaker.

As many of you know, Robert Mueller became FBI Director just one week before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Since that terrible day, he has forcefully and capably spearheaded an extensive reorganization of the FBI to target the Bureau's full arsenal of intelligence and investigative weapons on combating terrorism.

Since the earliest days of his tenure, Director Mueller has made support for the Bureau's law enforcement and intelligence partners one of his top priorities. He recognizes and values the tremendous potential of the National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan for helping to secure our homeland, and we're very pleased that he could be here with us this morning. Please welcome FBI Director Robert Mueller.

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Thank you very much, Director Mueller. I know you have to get back to the Bureau. But thank you for taking time to join us today.

As several of our speakers this morning have noted, the efforts surrounding the development of the National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan would not have been possible without the unprecedented level of partnership and collaboration that has developed among federal agencies and national criminal justice organizations.

We are all grateful to Secretary Tom Ridge and the Department of Homeland Security for the significant contributions they have made to this critical nationwide effort, and to our efforts at the federal level to increase intelligence sharing and interagency cooperation.

We're honored to have General Frank Libutti with us today, representing the Secretary. General Libutti is Undersecretary for Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection at DHS, and we're extremely pleased that he could join us today. General Libutti . . .

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I want you know that the Justice Department, through the Office of Justice Programs, has committed to making significant financial resources available to implement the National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan. This commitment goes above and beyond the more than $70 million we've already provided in support of Global Information Sharing initiatives over the last several years.

But we recognize that real progress in national criminal intelligence sharing can only occur when policy makers, law enforcement executives, and emergency preparedness officials across all levels of government - federal, state, tribal, and local - commit to advancing intelligence-led policing.

The support you have all demonstrated today is an important first step in reaching that goal. All of us at the Justice Department - and I echo the words of Undersecretary Libutti on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security on this point, as well - look forward to continuing our work together with you in this critical effort to protect our citizens and our homeland from the threat of terrorism.

This concludes our program. Thank you all very much for being here today, and for your dedication to this all-important cause.