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Homeland Security Chief In Bay Area

Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge says Americans are safer now than ever before. Speaking in San Francisco today, Ridge said the country is more aware of the threat of terrorism and more vigilant about confronting it than before his office was created after September Eleventh. He also warned against complacency, saying America´s security must constantly change with the times.

About 200 protesters stood outside Ridge´s speech at the Mark Hopkins Hotel. Protest organizers say the Bush administration is trampling civil liberties and creating a police state in the name of homeland security. Ridge is scheduled to tour Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory later today.