Ridge Visits G-8 Site, FLETC - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/25/04

Ridge Visits G-8 Site, FLETC

Ridge addresses FLETC students. Ridge addresses FLETC students.

With the G-8 summit getting closer, security at and around Sea Island is getting tighter. Secretary of homeland security Tom Ridge is in Brunswick today checking on the progress. He spoke to students at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), but his first order of business was the G-8.

Secretary Ridge landed at the Golden Isles Airport with the deputy chief of staff of the White House and the director of the Secret Service and other officials. He toured the site of the G-8 and checked on security by car and helicopter before heading to FLETC, where he had a very encouraging message for students.

"Regardless of the color of your uniform and the branch you're working with," he told students, "you're really the same team, same fight, same mission."

Students from 76 agencies learn to fulfill their missions at FLETC.

"You have everything here from mock roadways for high-speed chases to mock villains for search and capture to mock parks and waterways for search and rescue," the secretary told them. "It's a Hollywood set in many regards with a lot of true action heroes. And I'll bet you my friend, the governor of California, would be quite impressed."

Since 9/11, these students have gone to a six-day-week schedule.

"Homeland security starts with training," Ridge told them as he praised the efforts of everyone involved in homeland security. He also stressed the importance of people coming together to fight terrorism. "Within the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies, we can't afford to make a single mistake."

This was Secretary Ridge's first visit since he took his position. After his speech, he was made an honorary instructor at FLETC.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro, kangelastro@wtoc.com

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