Elizabeth Newell Jochum

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Homeland Security, E.U. reach agreement on passenger data sharing

July 6, 2007 A new agreement between the Homeland Security Department and the European Union, expected to be finalized in the coming weeks, will clarify the manner in which DHS can use personal information about international travelers collected from airline reservation systems. The agreement follows a 2006 interim agreement, which allowed Customs and...

Border agency defends practice of exposing trainees to pepper spray

July 5, 2007 Customs and Border Protection has not consistently followed its safety protocols while exposing trainee officers to pepper spray, according to a report by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The review of mandatory exposure of CBP trainees to oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray found that the agency's lesson plans...

Security to be tight at Washington July Fourth celebration

July 3, 2007 The U.S. Park Police is working with more than 20 other law enforcement agencies to keep the estimated 500,000 visitors to the National Mall in Washington safe this Fourth of July, following the recent airport attack and two thwarted car bombs in the United Kingdom. Agencies are on alert following...

DHS steps up mass transit, airport security

July 2, 2007 The Homeland Security Department is bolstering airport and mass transit security following an airport attack and two thwarted car bomb attempts in the United Kingdom over the weekend, a spokesman said Monday. DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff said the department will be increasing security for mass transit systems, airports and other...

IG praises post-Katrina volunteer program

June 29, 2007 A federal volunteer service program implemented in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was effective, but future efforts could benefit from better communication and training, according to a new report from the Homeland Security Department's inspector general. The report, released Thursday by DHS Inspector General Richard Skinner, congratulated the Federal Emergency...

Lawmakers push Homeland Security to track visitor departures

June 28, 2007 At a hearing Thursday, lawmakers urged the Homeland Security Department to work quickly in implementing technology to track if and when visitors leave the country. Members of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border, Maritime and Global Counterterrorism acknowledged the initial success of the entry portion of the US VISIT...

Border Patrol looks to hire more women, minorities

June 27, 2007 The Border Patrol is aiming to attract more women and minorities as it strengthens its presence at the border with the addition of more than 6,000 agents. "Over the next two years, we'd like to see the numbers of women and African-American, Asian-American and Native American Border Patrol agents increase...

USDA, Homeland Security urged to coordinate bird flu responses

June 26, 2007 The Agriculture Department has failed to plan how it will coordinate with the Homeland Security Department in case of a major avian flu outbreak, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. The Agriculture Department bears primary responsibility for planning for a potential flu outbreak in the poultry...

FEMA announces advisory council membership

June 25, 2007 The Federal Emergency Management Agency has created a National Advisory Council to offer localized advice, as part of a response to post-Hurricane Katrina reform legislation. FEMA Administrator R. David Paulison announced the proposed membership of the council last week after a formal selection process that began in February. The council...

FBI name checks blamed for immigration benefits delays

June 22, 2007 The ombudsman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, in a report released last week, cited the untimely completion of FBI name checks as a primary cause of delays in granting immigration benefits to applicants. "FBI name checks, one of the security screening tools used by USCIS, continue to significantly delay...

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