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Ridge pledges 'comprehensive' security plan

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Homeland security chief Tom Ridge outlined the Bush administration's proposal for a comprehensive domestic security plan Thursday, telling a conference of the nation's mayors that they and many of their employees would be key personnel in the strategy.

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"We never used to think of them this way," Ridge said, "but our police, fire, emergency response teams -- they are the front lines of defense. We never looked at them that way before Sept. 11. Now we do."

Ridge said that the homeland security plan would be built on that existing infrastructure, but noted that a fully effective strategy would go beyond government.

"It can't just be the public sector," the former Pennsylvania governor said. "It has to be the private sector as well."

Quoting the constitutional guarantee that the federal government should "provide for the common defense," Ridge said that while in the past that concept has carried out through battles against other nations, "now it is to defend our homefront, to provide for the domestic security.

"We will get that job done."



 
 
 
 



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