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President Creates Citizen Corps

-  The Citizen Corps will enable Americans to volunteer to participate directly in homeland security efforts in their own communities.  Citizen Corps will be coordinated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

- Community-based Citizen Corps Councils will help drive local involvement in Citizen Corps, developing community action plans, assessing possible threats, identifying local resources and coordinating other Citizen Corps programs.

-  These Councils will be broad-based - including leaders from law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services, businesses, community-based institutions, schools, places of worship, health care facilities, public works and other key community sectors.

-  The President's budget for FY 03 will request $144 million in matching funds to support the formation and training of local Citizen Corps Councils.

-  Citizen Corps volunteers will be able to participate in a variety of programs that match their skills and abilities.  The President's FY 03 budget provides more than $230 million for these efforts, including:

-  Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) Program:  Builds on successful local programs in which civilian volunteers help local police departments to perform non-sworn functions, freeing up police officers to perform vital front-line duties in times of emergency.

-  Medical Reserve Corps:  Enables retired healthcare professionals to effectively augment local health officials' capacity to respond to an emergency.

-  Operation TIPS (Terrorist Information and Prevention System):  Operation TIPS will enable millions of America transportation workers, postal workers, and public utility employees to identify and report suspicious activities linked to terrorism and crime.

-  Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT):  The President has proposed tripling over the next two years the number of Americans enrolled in CERT - a training program that enables individual Americans to participate in emergency management planning in their communities and prepare to respond to disasters and other emergencies.

-  Neighborhood Watch Programs:  The President's plan will double the number of Neighborhood Watch Programs in the next two years, and enhance the program by incorporating terrorism prevention into its mission.

- Citizens' Preparedness Guidebook:   The Citizens' Preparedness Guidebook provides current crime and disaster preparedness techniques as well as the latest information on terrorism, to give Americans guidance on how to prepare in their homes, neighborhoods, workplaces and public spaces.

-  For more information on Citizen Corps initiatives or to become a volunteer, Americans can visit or call 1-877-USA-CORPS.

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