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* News Release *
Friday, January 20, 2006
For Immediate Release

National Highway Watch Program

Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens reports that BCEO road crews and construction inspection employees will take part in a national anti-terror program called Highway Watch. Sponsored by the American Trucking Association in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Highway Watch is a national safety and security program that uses the skills, experiences, and "road smarts" of America's highway transportation workers to help protect the nation's critical infrastructure and the movement of goods, services, and people.

In addition to promoting safety, this program helps transportation professionals learn to be aware of their equipment and workplace to avoid becoming a target for terrorist activity and avoid having their equipment become weapons of terror. Highway Watch relies on the expertise and relationships of the nation's leading highway transportation organizations to mobilize a sector and make our country's roadways safer and more secure.

Wilkens said that his staff will undergo training on Monday. "It seems like a small effort for something with potentially huge ramifications," he noted. "They're anxious to do their part for the safety and security of our local communities and our nation."

BCEO road crews and construction inspection staff will take part in the training since they spend the majority of their work time in the field -- on the roads, at construction sites, and close to our roadway infrastructure. When training is complete, they will be officially certified as part of the Highway Watch Operations team.

Highway Watch Objectives

The national Highway Watch program lists five objectives:

1) Prevent commercial vehicles or cargo from being used as weapons against Americans;
2) Protect the nation's critical infrastructure of bridges, tunnels, and other potential terrorist targets;
3) Provide critical security data from the highway environment for information sharing and analysis;
4) Promote important safe driving skills and habits;
5) Improve coordination with federal, State, and Local emergency management, public safety, and law enforcement officials.

How The Program Works

Highway Watch participants -- transportation infrastructure workers, commercial and public truck and bus drivers, and other highway sector professionals -- are specially trained to recognize potential security threats and safety hazards on the road. These participants partner with law enforcement to provide additional "eyes and ears" within the highway transportation industry.

After completing the Highway Watch safety and security training, participants are equipped to contact a Call Center to report a highway incident or suspicious activity. These reports are forwarded to the Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) where specially trained industry analysts work closely with Federal counterparts to closely review all information and determine what further action may be necessary.

To learn more about Highway Watch, please visit the program's web site at www.highwaywatch.org.

# # #

For more information contact:

Chris Petrocy, BCEO Public Information Supervisor
Greg Wilkens, P.E., P.S., Butler County Engineer
Phone 513.867.5744 • Fax 513.867.5849

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