Homeland Security chief visits Kean University

(AP) - Outgoing federal Homeland Security headMichael Chertoff is praising President George W. Bush forprotecting the U.S. in the years since the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Chertoff, a New Jersey native who grew up in Elizabeth, spoke atKean University Thursday. He says the federal response to natural disasters has improvedgreatly since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He also says it is vitalthat FEMA remain part of the Homeland Security Department. Chertoff was named Homeland Security chief in 2005, after FEMA'sbungled response to Katrina. He says the department has improvedcooperation between government agencies but needs to continue thateffort. Chertoff will leave his post when President-elect Barack Obamatakes office in January. He says he has no definite plans after hesteps down, but will consider writing or teaching.

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