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North Carolina Central University To Establish Institute for Homeland Security

North Carolina Central University To Establish Institute for Homeland Security


North Carolina Central University announced in October that it will establish an Institute for Homeland Security & Workforce Development to better educate students and the local community about issues related to terrorism and emergency management.

“The institute will be the nucleus for a new academic emphasis in homeland security and will complement the existing academic program in the department of criminal justice,” says Chancellor James H. Ammons. “With the increased threat of terrorism, we believe that we will help the state of North Carolina create a workforce that is highly educated about security issues to better protect our citizens and the nation.”

Beginning spring 2006, classes, seminars, workshops and forums will be conducted by the institute in collaboration with local, state and federal agencies as well as other university departments, to train North Carolina practitioners and students in terrorism risk assessment, investigations and emergency management.    

Increased internship opportunities for students are an added benefit of an institute designed to give students training with a “hands-on” approach to skill acquirement.

Several former and current executives from key federal and state law enforcement and emergency management organizations met at NCCU last month to discuss workforce needs, public safety and emerging state, national and international issues regarding security.

“It is this kind of knowledge and expertise from a ‘brain trust’ of proven experts and professionals that the institute will be able to make available to benefit the citizens of North Carolina,” says Robert M. Gattison, the institute’s director.

Anticipated partners include federal and state organizations such as the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety; the North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission; the U.S. departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Treasury and Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency.

“One of the most exciting outcomes of the institute is the university’s plan to offer a professional master’s degree in criminal justice in response to the growing demand for training and education of homeland security professionals and experts,” says Dr. Harvey McMurray, chair of NCCU’s department of criminal justice.

Faculty and staff assigned to the institute will provide instruction in areas needed by practitioners in the field, including identifying and understanding state and national emergency mitigation and preparedness needs and developing new and improved technology to prevent, deter or rapidly respond to bioterrorist, nuclear, radiological or chemical attacks.

Services to be provided by the institute include strengthening existing relationships and developing new associations with federal, state, local, tribal, private and corporate agencies, community-based organizations and state community colleges. The institute will provide insight on counter measures and emergency management through open discussions, telecommunication forums and continuous learning opportunities. Community education about homeland security concerns will also be part of the service component.

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