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The purpose of Citizen Corps is to help coordinate volunteer activities at the grassroots level in order to make our communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to any emergency situation. While the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 have become one of America 's greatest tragedies, it also gave a new focus on Americans protecting their homeland through volunteer service and citizenship. In January 2002, President George W. Bush launched USA Freedom Corps, as an effort to capture the spirit of service that has emerged throughout our nation's communities following the terrorist attacks. With the devastation caused by the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, it has become all the more important that citizens are prepared for both natural and man-made catastrophes.
There are five key programs that fall under the auspices of Citizen Corps: Community Emergency Response Teams, Volunteers in Police Service, Neighborhood Watch Program, Medical Reserve Corps and Fire Corps. The Terrorism Awareness & Prevention program is an additional outreach initiative unique to the State of Ohio. These Citizen Corps programs form the basis, the foundation by which communities may structure additional initiatives based on need.