State Homeland Security Director receives national appointments - - The News for South Mississippi

State Homeland Security Director receives national appointments

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi's Homeland Security Director J. W. Ledbetter has been appointed to two national homeland security posts. Ledbetter was chosen by the Governors Homeland Security Advisors Council to serve on the Rural Domestic Preparedness Council.

Ledbetter has also accepted the invitation from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to join the Local, State, Tribal and Federal Preparedness Task Force.

Ledbetter says since Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi has been on the national radar for disaster management whether natural or man made. He says this gives Mississippi's concerns a voice.

"Having gone through Katrina and showed our self-determination like we did, the nation's attention has focused on us and how we responded. Mississippi is fast becoming a leader on the national circuit regarding homeland security issues, and we're already active on several executive boards and advisory boards," said Ledbetter.

With his appointments, Ledbetter says the state stands to receive more federal grant money to help with training and equipment purchases.

"Last year, Mississippi received $6.5 million in federal grants with 80 percent of that money going to local agencies across Mississippi. Serving on these task forces, Mississippi will gain the advantage of having our needs voiced at the highest level, that potentially means more money, better training and better equipment," said Ledbetter.

Mississippi has already gained some national recognition as the state will host the 2010 National Association of Search and Rescue's national conference in Tunica this May. Already the event has 350 registered participants from around the world that will take part in the six day conference at Harrah's Tunica Hotel and Casino.

The conference will highlight not only the latest equipment used in search and rescue operations but also the latest techniques.

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