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Brief: National Guard Brings Governor and Lieutenant Governor Up to Speed on Homeland Security

Jan. 8, 2007 — A recent briefing from the V.I. National Guard gave the island's top elected officials information about the territory's emergency preparedness and terrorism-threat levels.
Adjutant General Eddy Charles led the briefing of Gov. John de Jongh Jr. and Lt. Gov. Gregory Francis. It ranged across many topics, including incidents of drug and alien smuggling, money laundering, suspected terrorist presence and terrorism.
Charles and Homeland Security Director Mel Vanterpool provided an overview of procedures to request federal assistance in times of natural or man-made disasters, the assets at the disposal of the V.I. National Guard and the status of territorial communications, including the 911 system currently housed within the V.I. Police Department.
The briefing also provided deJongh and Francis an overview of the accomplishments made since the V.I. Office of Homeland Security was created in the aftermath of the 2001 terrorists attack on America. Vanterpool presented both deJongh and Francis with copies of an after-action report that listed the high points of the territorial emergency-response plan and some areas identified for additional work.
The briefing gave Lt. Gov. Francis and him the "opportunity to get a first-hand look at the capabilities and preparedness of the territory to address either man-made or natural disasters, including acts of terrorism," deJongh said. He pledged the support of his administration toward continued enhancement of the overall state of readiness in the Virgin Islands. Francis asked about the level of funding required to move the upgrading of the 911 emergency communications system ahead.
Also in attendance at the briefing were acting VITEMA Director Steve Parris, acting Police Commissioner James Mc Call and Territorial Police Chief Novelle Francis Jr.

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