Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer introduced legislation to make the State University of New York (SUNY) a member of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC), a partnership of several organizations meant to enhance the emergency preparedness of federal, state, local, and nongovernmental emergency responders and counterterrorism teams. The NDPC is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Preparedness Directorate and has a 12 year history of substantial improvements to national preparedness. SUNY's inclusion will add it's considerable security training and research expertise and would fill a geographic void as the NDPC currently lacks a member organization in the northeast.
Currently, University at Albany's National Center for Security and Preparedness (NCSP) trains emergency personal throughout the state how to protect infrastructure and respond to biological hazards. Schumer's legislation would provide the center with $5 million in order for it to expand that training so it could handle emergency personnel from across the country. The NCSP would join facilities in Alabama, New Mexico, Louisiana, Texas, Nevada, Hawaii and Colorado. Each facility has a specific role in ensuring the preparedness of our nation's first responders.
"The nation has a lot to learn from University at Albany's Center for Security and Preparedness, and this legislation will allow first responders all over the country to receive the first class training that many of our emergency personal already receive," said Schumer.
The NDPC currently has seven member organizations including the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Alabama, the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (EMRTC) at New Mexico Tech, the National Center for BioMedical Research and Training (NCBRT) at Louisiana State University, the National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center (NERRTC) at Texas A&M, the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center at the University of Hawaii, the Counter Terrorism Operations Support (CTOS)/the Nevada Test Site (NTS) in North Las Vegas, and the Transportation Technology Center, Inc. in Pueblo, Colorado. Between these seven members, the NDPC trains federal, state, local, tribal, and nongovernmental groups in emergency response techniques and disaster preparedness strategies that reduce vulnerability to criminal and terrorist incidents. Since 1998, the Consortium has trained 750,000 people.
UAlbany will be the first member organization from the northeast. Schumer's legislation will integrate the National Center for Security and Preparedness, a subset of the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at the University of Albany, into the NDPC. The Center, a combined effort of all 64 SUNY campuses, will create a program focused on intelligence, infrastructure protection and analysis, information sharing, and critical decisionmaking - areas that none of the NDPC's current member organizations currently address.
Senator Schumer also submitted an appropriations request that would provide $5 million for
National Center for Security & Preparedness at the University at Albany
Funding would provide support for the National Center for Security & Preparedness administrative and technical efforts related to the development and delivery of a Department of Homeland Security certified course that will train critical infrastructure protection analysts. There is a pressing need to provide technical training to those professionals engaged at federal, state, and local levels in analytical techniques and processes necessary to conduct risk assessments and analysis, including simulations and modeling, of the infrastructure identified as critical by national, state, or local security officials.
Inclusion into the NDPC will increase the funding sent to SUNY's National Center for Security and Preparedness and allow it to expand its training and educational programs. SUNY's size (it is the largest highereducation system in the nation) and proximity to thousands of first response organizations and a population of tens of millions will make it a valuable NDPC member.