WASHINGTON, D.C.-John Gage, national president of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), which represents 40,000 workers in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), issued the following statement in response to President Bush's appointment of former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik to the post of secretary of Homeland Security:
"The American Federation of Government Employees extends congratulations to Bernard Kerick, a former long-time union member, and the man at the helm of the New York City Police Department during the attacks of September 11, 2001. Mr. Kerik knows first-hand the dedication and bravery displayed by countless union members--police, firefighters, emergency medical workers--who responded to that devastating attack. With that experience to draw on, we're confident that he will fight to see that our homeland defenders have the tools, resources and training they need to keep our nation safe.
"Since the inception of the DHS, AFGE has enjoyed a cordial relationship with current Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. With Bernard Kerik, we look forward to continuing to build the partnership we began with his predecessor."