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January 26, 2011

Thompson Applauds Decision to End Color Coded Alert System

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, issued the following statement in response to the Department of Homeland Security's decision to replace the color-coded alert system with a new, more useful system:

The old color coded system taught Americans to be scared, not prepared. Each and every time the threat level was raised, very rarely did the public know the reason, how to proceed, or for how long to be on alert. I have raised concerns for years about the effectiveness of the system and have cited the need for improvements and transparency. Many in Congress felt the system was being used as a political scare tactic – raising and lowering the threat levels when it best suited the Bush Administration.

I applaud the Secretary for her decision to create a common sense approach to alerting the public when credible threats arise. It is important that the public continue to be vigilant and cooperate with state, local and federal authorities.

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Media Contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978