WSIU InFocus Segment Archives

Detail Information for WSIU InFocus Video Segment - Mike Chamness
Mike Chamness
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Length: 9:15

WSIU’s Jak Tichenor talks with Mike Chamness, chair of the Illinois Terrorism Task Force, who also headed the Illinois Emergency Management Agency for four years, ending in 2003. “I don't think there is a goal line when you're talking about combating terrorism,” says Chamness. “Every time you stop some tactic the terrorists want to do, you can depend on them to develop another tactic to sneak something onto an airline or do whatever it is they want to do.” Chamness, a Murphysboro native, has chaired the Task Force since 2003, which advises the Governor’s Office on strategic planning for Homeland Security issues. The group represents 60 member organizations at the local, state, and federal levels and meets year-round to update the state’s emergency response strategy to a wide range of threats. “We took a strategic stance in the beginning, that our response system would be structured in such a way that it could respond to a weapon of mass destruction, an act of terrorism, or to a natural hazard such as an earthquake or tornado.” Although the Chicago area is a major focus due to its population and infrastructure, Chamness says the rest of Illinois benefits from the overall planning effort and placement of emergency response teams throughout the state. “We certainly have a system that can respond to the city of Chicago and Cook County if something does happen there, but also in a very timely way, those teams can respond to tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, transportation accidents (across the state).”

Host: Jak Tichenor
Guest(s): Mike Chamness
Topic keywords: Terrorism Task Force
Link To video segment: Episode: 241