The success or failure of an emergency response depends on many factors: planning, capabilities, training, tools, funding, public trust, and the list goes on. This edition of the DomPrep Journal examines potential points of failure as well as formulas for success when responding to a crisis.
President Donald Trump’s proposed fiscal year 2018 budget would eliminate a Department of Homeland Security laboratory dedicated to countering bioterrorism and providing the science behind response and recovery efforts should an attack occur. The proposal to eliminate this lab without creating replacement capabilities elsewhere could place the U.S. at risk at a time when biotechnology proliferation is increasing access to the knowledge and capabilities for developing bioterror weapons.
All disasters may begin locally, but their effects and resource needs can span jurisdictions and can even have national implications. This edition of the DomPrep Journal examines ways to protect critical infrastructure and communities from widespread catastrophe.
A top-down approach provides guidance and support from federal agencies to local jurisdictions. A bottom-up approach ensures that local needs are being heard at the top. However, when local agencies are tasked with national security efforts, more guidance and support may be needed from above. It is time to prioritize resources, measure preparedness and response capabilities, and build and support national capabilities locally by redefining homeland security in today’s environment.
“Emergency management” is a term broadly defining a field that includes federal, state, and local government agencies, voluntary organizations active in disasters, and private sector stakeholders that conduct a variety of activities to prepare for, mitigate against, respond to, and recover from incidents. However, “emergency management” does not accurately describe the discipline or represent the most valuable skillset of emergency managers and their agencies: complex problem solving.
Valuable leadership principles learned in military operations can be effectively applied to leaders in the civilian world. However, complacency and comfort zones are often the barriers to such success. Being moved to join the military after watching the towers fall on 9/11 was a turning point that broke these barriers for this Navy SEAL.
The recent release of the 2017 Infrastructure Report Card is notable – not simply because it gave U.S. public schools a D+ grade on their overall condition, but due to its failure to address upgrades needed to the security infrastructure, security technology, and life safety systems of schools. As the new administration and Congress consider a major national infrastructure bill, it is time to invest in upgrading the security infrastructure of K-12 public schools.
One year ago, DomPrep convened subject matter experts to discuss their experiences with and knowledge about border control challenges. A lot has happened in a year, so it is time to examine what has changed, what still needs to be addressed, and what will likely still be discussed a year from now.
Over the years, the fragile relationship between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve has been strained to the point of fracture. The goal now for law enforcement agencies is to repair existing relationships with the communities they serve and build new positive relationships with youths to ensure future community resilience.
DomPrep would like to announce the retirement of a good friend and advisor, Charles J. Guddemi. After more than 25 years of law enforcement service, he retired from the U.S. Park Police on 31 December 2016.