Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Homeland Security chief plots overhaul

Higher priority on bioterrorism, new monitor systems for mass transit
WASHINGTON - Proclaiming the Homeland Security Department “open to change,” Secretary Michael Chertoff on Wednesday announced plans to centralize his agency’s terror analysis, put a higher priority on bioterrorism and step up detection systems in mass transit.In welcome news to Washington-area commuters, the department also will lift a rule that forbade passengers from leaving their seats for 30 minutes before flying into or out of Reagan National Airport, Chertoff said in revealing the details of a sweeping overhaul of the 2-year-old agency founded in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.Chertoff ordered the review in March shortly after he took office. The overhaul aims to spur the sluggish bureaucracy beset by turf wars and growing pains, and to ensure department resources are put into the nation’s most vulnerable areas.


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