Washington: In a bid to reach out to South Asian and Arab communities, the US will increase engagement, dialogue, co-ordination and enhance information sharing with faith-and community-based groups.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Thursday met with leaders from Muslim, Sikh, South Asian and Arab communities, described as "key partners in homeland security that contribute to many different parts of American life and exemplify the diversity that is a hallmark of our country."
"In times of crisis, leaders of faith-based communities and other grassroots organisations often play a critical role in the broad and timely dissemination of accurate information," said Napolitano, according to a Department release.
"Strengthening our partnerships with faith- and community-based groups will allow improved information sharing and better coordination in preparing for, assessing and responding to threats."
During the meeting, Napolitano and the leaders examined existing information sharing capabilities such as the Secure Community Network (SCN) and discussed ways to expand and enhance current initiatives and partnerships. SCN is a model for information sharing with faith- and community-based communities designed to quickly improve overall security awareness in a crisis situation.