WMU News

WMU has role in homeland security

July 22, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University is part of an ongoing FBI effort to increase the nation's level of readiness to withstand terrorist attacks against its critical infrastructures.

InfraGard, a grassroots initiative sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and meant to connect law enforcement and private industry leaders, is holding its Michigan West Region Security Conference Wednesday, July 24, in Grand Rapids. The morning seminar will take place from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Sneden Academic Building at Davenport University. Registration information can be obtained by calling (616) 464-1361 ext. 109, or by visiting the Web site <www.michiganinfragard.com>.

Titled "Homeland Security/Post Sept. 11 Investigation: Insights from the FBI's Special Agent in Charge for Michigan," the conference will feature FBI SAC for Michigan John Bell along with Tim Crothers, chief science officer for ITM Technology.

Viji Murali, WMU's chief information officer and vice president for information technology, serves on the steering committee of the Michigan chapter of InfraGard. She also heads the organization's Education and Awareness Committee. The organization has more than 70 chapters around the nation and its 5,000 members include America's top information technology professionals, who hail from academia and companies like Ford, Amway, Daimler Chrysler, Pfizer and USF.

InfraGard's goal is to improve communication between law enforcement and private industry for the purpose of increasing the nation's readiness to withstand attacks against its critical infrastructures. Commonly referred to as "the big eight" in information security circles, these critical infrastructures include: telecommunications, transportation, government, banking, oil and gas, water, banking, electric power and emergency services.

Media contact: Jessica English, 269 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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