Illinois wants to "engage statewide community" in homeland security planning

Nov 25, 2011

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Sean Crawford used in this report.

Illinois is asking for broad input on homeland security planning.  
Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Jonathon Monken says he wants to engage the whole statewide community, not just those whose job it is to make sure Illinois is prepared.  In the past, the state took comments primarily from first responders and public health officials.  But Monken says this time, his agency wants to also hear from businesses, faith based groups and individual residents.  

"This is just a necessary process," Monken said. " I think this is something we need to do because as the threats evolve, as the circumstances and the landscape changes which it inevitably does, this is just an important part of the process.  And we need to make sure we are getting a lot of varied inputs and not just the same handful of people making the same choices."     
Monken says the goal is to prioritize programs in a way that will work for Illinois through the next decade. Information obtained at the hearings will be put into a master plan later next year.