Governor Martin O'Malley Delivers Keynote Address Before the Center for National Policy
Governor offers homeland security “best practices” from state perspective
WASHINGTON, DC (March 24, 2009) – Governor Martin O’Malley delivered the keynote address today before the Center for National Policy, a bipartisan think tank that focuses on bringing together policymakers from both sides of the political aisle to develop solutions to the major issues facing the United States. Governor O’Malley’s remarks focused on the unique perspective of a Governor on homeland security issues and “best practices.”
“The way we do homeland security right is by doing public safety and public health right,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “In my time in public life, I’ve become convinced that homeland security and traditional law enforcement cannot be viewed as an ‘either-or’ proposition. To be successful we must integrate our homeland security and public safety functions. The tools and skills that our intelligence personnel use to combat money laundering and drug trafficking are the same they use for counter-terrorism.”
CNP focuses on several areas of national, economic, and regional security. With a grant from the MacArthur Foundation, the Center has formed an innovative Nuclear Security Study Group, which brings together a bipartisan group of Members of Congress to discuss issues of nuclear security with experts, and also educates the public on nuclear security issues.
“Among the many challenges we inherited were several pertaining to the safety and security of our public in the post 9/11 world in a State which is blessed to lead the nation in so many important things like education and the life sciences, but also in the far more tragic category of violent crimes,” the Governor continued. “In response to this adversity we’ve made it a clear part of our mission statement that we will seek to improve public safety in every part of our State.”
The Governor focused his remarks on the need to measure performance and implement effective tactics and strategies:
“When it comes to performance management, those of us in public life tend to be very good at measuring ‘inputs.’ However it’s the outputs that give us the controls. They tell us where the problems and the opportunities lie,” said Governor O’Malley. “And at the State level, where we’re applying these strategies through an initiative we call StateStat, they’ve helped us achieve our State’s second greatest reduction in homicides in nearly a quarter century, while also helping us supervise violent offenders, bring fiscal responsibility back to state government, restore the Chesapeake Bay, and grow more sustainably.”
Governor O’Malley cited interoperability as one way local, state, and federal agencies are working together to upgrade our homeland security readiness. Last summer, Governor O’Malley issued and Executive Order that establishes a statewide communications interoperability plan, which will enable emergency first responders, public safety officials and all law enforcement agencies to communicate reliably, rapidly and instantaneously thus enhancing public safety across the State. The plan is a result of $1 billion in nationwide federal grants for interoperability post-September 11.
Governor O’Malley concluded: “We live at our own cutting edge of history; at a point in our human existence when our own creativity and imagination have expanded the outer bounds of human achievement and potential as never before, and by exponents never imagined. In a relative instant of human development, we have through our science and technology taken the vastness of this planet and made it intimately finite for the first time in human consciousness. We have gone from manned flight to men walking on the moon, from vaccine to human genome, from plastics to nanotechnology, from telegraph to internet all in a relative flash of time.
“Our great challenge, and our great opportunity, is to leverage these technologies. That’s why as a nation, I hope that moving forward together we will be unafraid of setting goals; unafraid of openly measuring the performance of our public institutions and efforts; unafraid of sharing information; and unafraid of changing course when necessary.”